Last update: 05 Aug 2022, 23:36 IST
Indian wrestler Deepak Punia won the gold medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games by defeating Pakistan’s Muhammad Inam in the final of the 86 kg category. After missing out on a medal at the Tokyo Olympics, everyone had high expectations from Deepak in Birmingham and he did not disappoint anyone with his impressive performance.
The young wrestler started his campaign as he outpointed New Zealand’s Matthew Oxenham in his opening bout. It was a one-sided contest in which Deepak won 10-0 to reach the quarter-finals. There was no stopping him after that as he repeated the same show against Sierra Leone’s Sheku Kasegbama in the quarterfinals.
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However, the semi-final clash proved difficult for Deepak as he lost to Canada’s Alexander Moore 3-1. The 23-year-old Indian wrestler looked a bit defensive in his approach but managed to set up a climactic match against Inam.
The 23-year-old, who hails from Jhajjar, enters the tournament with a huge reputation after impressing at the Asian Championship for four consecutive years. He won the World Championship silver medal at the Noor Sultan event.
Punia missed out on an Olympic medal last year after losing the bronze medal match in Tokyo, ending his campaign in disarray.
Ahead of the 2022 CWG, Deepak trained with Tokyo Olympic bronze medalist Bajrang Punia at the University of Michigan in the US.
The Union Sports Ministry’s Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) provided financial assistance to the two athletes for their training, travel, daily expenses and boarding for the camp at the University of Michigan.
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