GOLD COAST, Australia: The premier wrestler Mohammad Inam finally made Pakistan proud when he extended a terrific performance by beating Melvin Bibo of Nigeria in the 86 kilogramme men’s freestyle wrestling competitions final to win the first gold medal for the country on the penultimate day of the 21st Commonwealth Games here at Carrara Stadium wrestling gymnasium on Saturday.
Meanwhile, another wrestler Tayyab Raza claimed bronze in the 125kg competitions. This is the second gold from Inam in the history of the quadrennial event as he had also lifted gold in the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, but that time in the 84kg.
“I had worked very hard and today I am happy with the achievement. Thanks God,” Inam told ‘The News’.
With this, Pakistan also wrapped-up its Commonwealth Games journey with one gold and four bronze medals. Weightlifters Talha Talib (62kg), Nooh Dastagir Butt (plus 105) and wrestler Mohammad Bilal (57kg), Inam’s younger brother, are the others who have also won bronze medals for the country competed in ten disciplines.
The day’s output also helped Pakistan to jump to the 22nd spot overall.
It was a dream day for Inam as he romped to the final after edging out three smart competitors on a pleasant day in Gold Coast which also received light drizzle in the morning.
The first round of the final remained absorbing with Inam finishing it with 1-0 lead. However after the break he played aggressively, taking his lead to 6-0. In the last couple of minutes he opted not to give any room to 41-year-old 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Bibo to seal a well-deserved title victory.
England’s Syerus Eslami and India’s Somveer captured bronze in this class.
Also read: Lifter Dastagir bags bronze in Tashkent
Earlier in the semi-finals, Inam earned a superb comeback ‘victory by fall’ over Canada’s Alexander Moore to make it to the gold medal fight.
Inam, who last year in Turkey won gold medal in the Beach World Championships, was 0-6 behind in just one minute and two seconds as his Canadian rival started the game with great aggression. But eventually it was Inam who knew how to overcome his rival by taking four quick points. He then controlled his opponent in a tight grasp, with Moore unable to even move, forcing the jury to decide the battle on the basis of victory by fall in favour of Inam.
Inam had defeated Australia’s Jayden Lawrence in the pre-quarter-finals (first fight) with an enviable ease. Inam, in the first round, was trailing at one stage 4-5. However he regained composure and fully exploited the weaknesses of his rival, taking a big 9-4 lead at the end of the first round.
In the second round he did not let the Australian to resist, showing immense technical superiority to take the fight 14-4.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Tayyab Raza lost to Korey Jarvis of Canada on ‘victory by fall’ decision in the silver medal fight to settle with a bronze in the 125kg competitions.
In his first league game, he came from 0-2 down to beat Nigeria’s Boltic Sinivie 10-2.
At one stage when it was 4-2 in favour of Raza, the Pakistani grappler held the Nigerian in a tight clutch, and started rolling him with the points flowing towards Raza. The Nigerian also felt a great muscular pain and the referee had to wait for him to stand up so that the winner could be announced.
Tayyab then got a walkover against Cameroon’s Claude Kouamen Mbianga when the later did not appear due to injury. In his next fight he was undone by India’s Sumit 10-4. It was 4-4 in the first round but the Indian made superb progress to utterly made Tayyab fatigued before eventually emerging victorious with a 10-4 score.
Five competitors took part in this class the title of which went to India’s Sumit.
At the Belmont Shooting Centre Brisbane, Pakistan’s Ghufran Adil failed to live up to the billings when he finished at the last eighth place in the finals of the 50metre rifle three positions.
He had qualified for the finals after finishing eighth in the qualification round with a total of 1145-44X.
In the men’s trap qualification second phase, Farrukh Nadeem failed to qualify for the finals when he finished 14th with the total score of 113 out of 40 participants.
Meanwhile in the same event, Aamir Iqbal ended 24th with a total of 106. This also fell curtain on the seven-member national shooting brigade’s disappointing show.
The spectacle in which 6600 athletes from 71 nations took part will be formally closed on Sunday (today).