Sushil Snags Third Commonwealth Games Gold, Wiebe Wins Second

By Eric Olanowski

GOLD COAST, Australia (April 12) - Olympic gold medalist Erica WIEBE (CAN) and two-time Olympic medalist Kumar SUSHIL (IND) capped off day one at the Commonwealth Games with yet another gold medal. For Wiebe, this is her second time grabbing gold while this is Sushil's third championships performance. 

In the final bout at 76kg, Wiebe found herself fighting back after Blessing Joy ONYEBUCHI (NGR) struck first to take the early 2-0 lead. But it was Wiebe who remained disciplined and used an arm spin to put Onyebuchi on her back, picking up the first-period fall. 

At 74kg, 34-year-old Kumar Sushil made quick work of Johannes Petrus BOTHA (RSA). He started the match off double legging Botha to his back for four. After three gut-wrenches, Sushil was awarded his third Commonwealth Games gold medal. 

The first bronze-medal bout at 74kg saw Ebimienfaghe ASSIZECOURT (NGR) take the 8-0 lead over Curtis DODGE (WAL) after a takedown and three turns off a trapped arm gut. Dodge, the former Judo player remained composed and used a Judo throw to pick up a fall shortly after the start of the second period. This was Dodge's first Commonwealth Games wrestling medal. 

In the second bronze-medal match, Connor EVANS (AUS) picked up the first takedown, but Jevon BALFOUR (CAN) went on an 8-2 run to end the first period. At one point during the first period, Balfour was in on a single leg when Evans tried a backflip only to land directly on his head, giving Balfour four points. Balfour’s two additional takedowns in the second period secured his bronze medal as he beat Evans, 14-4. 

The 57kg final was a battle of two-time world team representatives in Steven TAKAHASHI (CAN) and Rahul AWARE (IND). 

Aware took the first points with a takedown, but that was followed by a four-point throw from Takahashi, giving him the 4-2 lead. Aware ended the first period on a 4-0 run and took the 6-4 lead. 

In period two, it was Aware who opened the match up, outscoring Takahashi 9-3, ultimately giving him the 15-7 victory in the gold-medal bout. 

The first bronze-medal bout at 57kg was a rematch of the African championships gold-medal match where Jan Louwrens COMBRINCK (RSA) defeated Ebikewenimo WELSON (NGR). Welson's two takedowns were enough to scoop up his third Commonwealth Games medal and avenge his loss from earlier in the year.  

Muhammad BILAL (PAK) used three takedowns to beat George Anthony RAMM (ENG), 6-1 in the second bronze medal bout at 57kg. 

In the 53kg ‘Nordic tournament’ gold-medal match, Diana Helen WEICKER (CAN) took the 1-0 lead after returning champion Kumari BABITA (IND) failed to score while being placed on the activity clock. After a two-and-two exchange and a chest wrap, Weicker was victorious by a score of 5-2.  Weicker, the mother of two outscored her opponents 36-2 on her way to her first Commonwealth Games championship. 


GOLD - Rahul AWARE (IND) df. Steven TAKAHASHI (CAN), 15-7.

BRONZE - Muhammad BILAL (PAK) df. George Anthony RAMM (ENG), 6-1. 
BRONZE - Ebikewenimo WELSON (NGR) df. Jan Louwrens COMBRINCK (RSA), 5-2. 

GOLD - Kumar SUSHIL (IND) df. Johannes Petrus BOTHA (RSA), 10-0. 

BRONZE - Jevon BALFOUR (CAN) df.. Connor EVANS (AUS), 14-4
BRONZE - Curtis DODGE (WAL) df. Ebimienfaghe ASSIZECOURT (NGR), via fall. 

Women’s Wrestling 
53kg - Nordic Tournament - Only one bronze  
GOLD - Diana Helen WEICKER (CAN) df.  Kumari BABITA (IND), 5-2. 


GOLD - Erica Elizabeth WIEBE (CAN) vs. Blessing Joy ONYEBUCHI (NGR), via fall. 

BRONZE - Kiran KIRAN (IND) df.  Katouskia PARIADHAVEN (MRI), via fall. 
BRONZE - Georgina NELTHORPE (ENG) df. Hajaratu KAMARA (SLE), via fall.

April 13 (10:30am LOCAL TIME) 
Freestyle - 65kg and 97kg 
Women's Wrestling - 57kg and 68kg 

April 14 (10:30am LOCAL TIME) 
Freestyle - 86kg and 125kg 
Women's Wrestling - 50kg and 62kg


Vinesh Gives India Fifth Commonwealth Games Gold

By Eric Olanowski

GOLD COAST, Australia (April 13) - Vinesh VINESH (IND) gave India their fifth gold medal of the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Although four of India's five golds came in freestyle, Vinesh captured the lone, yet much needed top spot in women’s wrestling. 

In her fourth and final bout of the day, the defending champion had hopes of taking out 2012 world champion Jessica Anne Marie MACDONALD (CAN). The No. 2 ranked wrestler in the world struck first with a feet to back double leg for four points, facing MacDonald with her first deficit of the tournament. 

The Indian sat on a comfortable 8-0 lead after a second aggressive four-point double leg. The African runner-up used a MacDonald double leg attack to get her hips committed and picked up a counter two points, but not before MacDonald came out in the top position with a reversal.

Vinesh’s final leg attack came with 90 seconds left, as she picked up her second Commonwealth Games gold medal in as many tries. 

At 86kg, 2010 Commonwealth Champion Muhammad INAM (PAK) upended 41-year-old 2018 African champion Melvin BIBO (NGR), 6-0. 

In the finals, Inam took the lead midway through the first period after Bibo failed to score when he was placed on the activity clock. Shortly after, Inam turned defense into an attack with a crotch lift off Bibo’s attack, taking the 3-0 lead. An additional takedown and an unnecessary hands to the face call would make Inam switch to defensive mode as he had a six-point buffer.  The Pakistani closed the match out intelligently and found ways to stay off the activity clock to keep the shutout intact, winning 6-0. 

This victory at 86kg gave Pakistan their first Commonwealth Games gold medal since Azhar HUSSAIN (PAK) won the 55kg gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India. 

Meanwhile, the 62kg gold-medal bout between Aminat ADENIYI (NGR) and Michelle FAZZARI (CAN) was halted after the first five seconds due to an apparent right knee injury to the Canadian wrestler. 

Adeniyi, the 24-year-old Olympian and three-time African champion snatched an early single leg, only to have the 2017 world bronze medalist, Fazzari stop wrestling and begin to favor the already padded right knee. For the third straight international competition, Fazzari would have to pull out due to this apparent right knee injury. 

The African defended her title from four years ago and joined fellow Nigerian’s Blessing OBORUDUDU (NGR) and Odunayo ADEKUOROYE (NGR) as 2018 Commonwealth Games women’s wrestling champions. 

Sumit SUMIT (IND) was awarded the 125kg gold medal after knocking off defending champion Korey JARVIS (CAN) and finishing the day with a 4-0 record. Jarvis ended the day with one loss and took home the silver medal, and Tayab RAZA (PAK) had a pair of wins and losses and departed with Commonwealth Games bronze. 

Women's Wrestling 
50kg - Nordic Tournament (4 Participants)
GOLD -  Vinesh VINESH (IND) df. Jessica Anne Marie MACDONALD (CAN), 13-3. 

BRONZE - Miesinnei GENESIS (NGR) df. Rupinder KAUR (AUS), 10-0.

62kg - Nordic Tournament (4 Participants)
GOLD - Aminat ADENIYI (NGR) df. Michelle FAZZARI (CAN), via inj. def.

BRONZE - Sakshi MALIK (IND) df. Tayla FORD (NZL), 6-5. 


GOLD - Muhammad INAM (PAK) df. Melvin BIBO (NGR). 6-0. 

BRONZE - Somveer SOMVEER (IND) df. Alexander MOORE (CAN), 7-3
BRONZE - Syerus ESLAMI (ENG) df. David CONTEH (SLE), 11-0.

125kg - Nordic Tournament (5 Participants)
GOLD –  Sumit SUMIT (IND) (4-0)
SILVER - Korey JARVIS (CAN)  (3-1)
BRONZE - Tayab RAZA (PAK) (2-2)