Bajrang Punia, Deepak Punia and Sakshi Malik all triumphed in their Gold medal matches on Friday at Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham.
India won three Gold medals on the opening day of Wrestling at Birmingham 2022.
Bajrang Punia, Deepak Punia and Sakshi Malik all triumphed in their Gold medal matches to take India’s all-time tally of Commonwealth Gold medals in the sport to 46.
Bajrang Punia kick-started the Gold rush by defending his title with victory over Canada’s Lachlan McNeil 9-2 in the 65kg final.
“I’ve come a long way since I was young and, it’s not just my journey alone, there is an entire support system backing me including the support staff, the physios who have helped me to stand here and speak to you with a gold medal around my neck,” Bajrang said.
“It’s important that the people working with me behind the scenes, who do not get in front of the cameras, know that I appreciate their efforts because that is what got me here and this is a big stage. I want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude.
“I’m working really hard to make sure the dream that was left unfulfilled in the last Olympics [he won bronze], primarily because of my injury, is going to be fulfilled at Paris.
“Every athlete wants to get the Gold at the Olympic Games and it’s my dream to fulfil that ambition and whatever was incomplete in Tokyo.”
England’s George Ramm won a bronze medal with an 11-0 win over Nauru’s Lowe Bingham, while the other bronze went to Pakistan’s Inayat Ullah.
Sakshi Malik’s win came hot on Bajrang’s heels, adding Gold to the silver and bronze she won at Glasgow 2014 and Gold Coast 2018 respectively.
Malik secured a victory by fall against Canada’s Ana Godinez Gonzalez in the 62kg category.
Berthe Emilienne Etane Ngolle of Cameroon and Esther Omolayo Kolawole of Nigeria won bronze medals.
And India were not done there, with Deepak Punia beating Pakistan’s two-time Commonwealth champion Muhammad Inam in the 86kg Gold medal match.
The 28-year-old clinched a 3-0 points victory to prevent Inam from defending his title.