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Commonwealth Games

CWG 2022 Analysis: Bigger challenges await Indian wrestling contingent after CWG dominance

Indian wrestling contingent dominated Commonwealth Games 2022 with 12 medals but they have bigger challenges coming up.

Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat and Barang Punia will be in action at Yasar Dogu 2022 tournament

Indian wrestler Vinesh Phogat and Barang Punia will be in action at Yasar Dogu 2022 tournament


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 14 Aug 2022 11:54 AM GMT

"Will Ravi Dahiya smile after the CWG Gold?, How much time will Vinesh Phogat take to clinch the gold medal?" there were many questions about India's Wrestling contingent.

Wrestling has been one of the disciplines where India dominates in the Commonwealth Games. 2022 was no different as India topped the medal rankings in wrestling with six gold, one silver, and five bronze.

The whole wrestling contingent of India returned with a medal from Commonwealth Games.

At The Bridge, we look at the Wrestling team's campaign to bring you an in-depth analysis.

Women's Wrestling Contingent-

Indian women's team consisted of Pooja Gehlot (50 Kg), Vinesh Phogat (53 Kg), Anshu Malik (57 Kg), Sakshi Malik (62 Kg), Divya Kakran (68 Kg), and Pooja Sihag (76 Kg).

All six wrestlers won medals, with Vinesh and Sakshi winning gold, Anshu winning Silver, Pooja Gehlot, Divya, and Pooja Sihag winning bronze.

READ:- "I make moves on mat, not politics" - CWG medallist Divya Kakran slams Delhi Govt. for false claims

Pooja Gehlot

A debut at the Commonwealth Games, Pooja started promisingly and went directly into the semi-finals after her first win as the opponent gave a walk-over.

Pooja lost the tightly contested semis against Madison Parks but returned strongly to claim bronze because of technical superiority. A technically sound wrestler, Pooja lost her semis due to lack of movement, and she immediately rectified that in her bronze medal bout.

Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik

There is nothing much to write about these both ace wrestlers. Both were coming from recent disappointments and proved why they are the champions.

Vinesh Phogat was touted to win the gold even before draws were out. Vinesh had only three competitors, and they played in the round-robin nordic format. Vinesh won all three matches with ease to claim the gold.

With CWG over now, Vinesh will eye the 2024 Paris Olympics.

After winning a bronze in the 2016 Rio Olympics, Sakshi Malik saw a mental block and failed to win the crucial bouts.

In Commonwealth Games, Sakshi finally overcame her block and clinched the gold medal after making a comeback against Ana Godinez in the finals. She came back from a 4-0 deficit to score 4 points and won the match with the fall.

This victory will certainly give her the required confidence and help her perform better at the international level.

Anshu Malik

Anshu Malik is the upcoming star of Indian wrestling. Silver medallist at World Championship, Anshu was expected to win gold at Commonwealth Games, but she lost to much experienced Odunayo Folasade of Nigeria to clinch a silver medal.

Anshu will look to buildup on her recent success and focus on the upcoming Asian games and Olympics.

Pooja Sihag and Divya Kakran

Bronze medallist from the 2018 Gold Coast Games, Divya Kakran lost her first game to a much technically superior opponent but came back strongly in the repechage round to claim her second bronze in as many appearances at the Commonwealth Games.

Pooja Sihag was making her debut in the Commonwealth Games, and she started well, but her passivity in the semis cost her a shot at the gold medal.

Although, She came back well in the bronze medal match to win the game by technical superiority.

Also Read: CWG 2022 Analysis: A strong show from the Indian boxing contingent

Men's Wrestling Contingent

Indian male contingent had Ravi Dahiya (57 kg), Bajrang Punia (65 Kg), Naveen (74 Kg), Deepak Punia (86 Kg), Deepak Nehra (97 Kg), Mohit Grewal (125 Kg).

All six wrestlers won medals, with Bajrang Punia, Ravi Dahiya, Deepak Punia, Naveen winning gold, Deepak Nehra, and Mohit Grewal winning bronze.

Deepak Nehra and Mohit Grewal

Two debutants were expected to make it to the podium. Deepak Nehra and Mohit won the bronze medal for India in their respective categories.

Deepak needs to work on his agility. He had almost defeated Nishan Randhawa in the first bout, but his lack of agility cost him the bout. In heavyweight categories, agility is the difference maker most of the time.

On the other hand, Mohit started well with a dominant win but lost to a much superior opponent, Amarveer Dhesi. He returned to claim the bronze medal and needs to work on his positioning.


Naveen has to be the find of the Indian wrestling contingent in the Commonwealth Games 2022.

The 19-year-old started brilliantly and dominated every bout on his way to the gold medal. He won his starting three bouts with technical superiority and the gold medal bout with a dominant score of 9-0.

Naveen is an agile wrestler and technically strong. It will be interesting to see how he progresses on the international level.

Bajrang Punia, Ravi Dahiya and Deepak Punia

These three wrestlers were expected to win the gold medals in their categories, and it would have an upset if anyone missed out.

Deepak Punia missed a medal in the Olympics and was here to change that. Deepak was dominant in his bouts and faced only one close match, he was semis, and he won that too.

His next target will be winning the elusive medal at the Olympics.

Ravi Kumar Dahiya won everyone's heart with his brilliant performance in the Olympics. But even a silver medal couldn't get him to smile. Although it changed this time as Ravi won all his three bouts with technical superiority and clinched the gold most dominantly.

He will look to change the color of his silver medal in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

The Smile we all deserved to see.

Commonwealth Games are easy ground for Bajrang Punia and he proved that again. Bajrang looked in good touch and will look go for the elusive gold at the Olympics.

After a strong showing by the wrestling team of India at Commonwealth Games 2022, far bigger challenges in form of Asiads and World Championships are awaiting them where they will look to replicate this performance.

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