The Indian wrestling contingent reigned supreme on Saturday once again, as Naveen Kumar became the second wrestler of the day to win a gold medal in men’s 74kg freestyle wrestling at the Commonwealth Games 2022. The 19-year-old also marked India’s sixth gold medal in wrestling, after Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, Deepak Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Ravi Kumar Dahiya.
Naveen Kumar defeated Pakistani wrestler Muhammad Sharif Tahir in the final on Saturday, August 6, to help India claim its fifth wrestling gold medal of the day and 12th overall. He beat Tahir 9-0 in the match, becoming the second Indian wrestler at the ongoing edition of the mega event to defeat a Pakistani opponent in the final.
The Indian wrestler was one of the youngest members of the Indian contingent participating in the Commonwealth Games 2022. However, he did not disappoint or let his age come in between as he began with a strong showing against famous Nigerian wrestler Ogbonna Emmanuel John in the pre-quarterfinal, defeating him 13-3.
Naveen displayed his superior techniques once again, as he beat Hong Yeow Lou of Singapore in the quarterfinal by technical superiority and qualified for the semifinals. England’s Charlie Bowling failed to stop his medal bid as well, falling to Naveen by 12-1 technical superiority.
The teenager faced Pakistani wrestler Muhammad Sharif Tahir in the final of the event and emerged victorious (9-0), without dropping a single point. This also marked India’s 10th overall wrestling medal, equalling the record of weightlifting (10) at the ongoing event.
The youngster also won India’s third wrestling gold medal on Saturday, after Ravi Kumar Dahiya and Vinesh Phogat in their respective categories. The country’s overall medal tally has now climbed to 34, including 12 gold medals and they sit at the fifth position behind Australia, England, Canada and New Zealand.