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Tokyo Olympic medalist and ace wrestler Ravi Kumar Dahiya Malik defeated Ebikewenimo Welson of Nigeria 10-0 in the final of the Men's Freestyle 57kg to win his maiden Commonwealth Games gold on Saturday. Star Indian wrestler Dahiya was a class apart in the summit clash as he did not concede any points en route to the gold medal show in the 57kg category.

Notably, Ravi had won the silver medal after losing 7-4 to World champion Zaur Uguev of Russia in the keenly-fought men’s 57kg freestyle title clash at the Tokyo Olympics. His medal, in the men’s 57kg freestyle, was only India’s second silver in wrestling at the Olympics after Sushil Kumar’s triumph in London 2012.

Welson, a three-time Commonwealth Games medallist, looked to go on the attack early on but Ravi defended well. A minute into the bout, Ravi Dahiya caught hold of the Nigerian’s legs and executed a fitele to rake in eight



points. A ‘fitele’ is a move in wrestling where one grappler catches hold of their opponent’s ankles and twirls them around in quick succession to score quick points.

Welson rolled out of the ring to escape an immediate defeat, but the Indian wrestler picked up two more points soon after play resumed and won by technical superiority.

On the other hand, former world junior silver medallist Pooja Gehlot had to settle for a bronze medal in the women’s 50kg freestyle wrestling event. The podium finish at Birmingham 2022 was the first major senior international medal for the 25-year-old Indian.

In the medal bout, the Scotswoman scored first to take a 2-0 lead, but Pooja Gehlot came roaring back and scored 10 points in quick succession towards the end of the first period. Shortly after the restart, the Indian wrapped up the affair to win the bout by technical superiority.
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