CWG 2022: Divya Kakran, Mohit Grewal win bronze in wrestling

Divya Kakran (L) and Mohit Grewal (R) with their bronze medals from the 2022 Commonwealth Games ESPN

Divya Kakran won the bronze medal in women's 68kg freestyle wrestling at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Friday with ease as she beat Tiger Lily Cocker Lemalie of Tonga with victory by fall. It took her all of 26 seconds to win the bronze medal bout. The 23-year-old had won bronze in the same category at the 2018 CWG in Gold Coast as well.

Mohit Grewal defeated Aaron Johnson of Jamaica in the men's freestyle wrestling 125 kg division, earning his maiden bronze with a victory by fall. It meant all six wrestlers in action for India on Friday won medals.

Earlier, Divya began her CWG campaign in the quarterfinal but had tough draw going up against the defending champion. Blessing Oborududu of Nigeria, the 2018 gold medallist, triumphed by technical superiority, scoring 5 points in the first period and six in the second. However, her opponent's dominance meant she reached the final and Divya had another shot at a medal.

In the repechage round 2, she then faced off against Blandine Nyeh Ngiri of Cameroon. The Indian bounced back and won by fall in just 65 seconds to book her spot in the bronze medal bout. The 23-year-old has won a bronze medal at the 2018 Asian Games as well. In June this year, she won the UWW Ranking Series event in Almaty. She also won the 2017 Commonwealth Wrestling Championships.

Mohit scored early in his bout (passive to active switch) against Johnson, with the Jamaican also getting a warning soon after. The Indian forced his opponent out of bounds soon after, and then repeated the move to score four points at the end of the first period.

Johnson's defensive strategy from the first period proved to be his undoing as Mohit pounced early in the second period, pinning the Jamaican to win the bout, and his first ever medal the the Commonwealth Games.

Earlier, Mohit Grewal started his campaign against Alexios Kaouslidis of Cyprus in the quarterfinal and won on points. The Indian wrestler led 4-1 after the first period before wrapping up the contest with six points in the second. He started with warning for passivity and Kaoslidis led 1-0. But Mohit then managed two takedowns and clinched four points and eventually made it a dominant 10-1.

In the semifinal, he faced Amarveer Dhesi of Canada but lost to him on technical superiority. He took a 2-0 lead early but it is 2-2 not long after and he went on to lost by points in the first period itself, with Dhesi scoring 12. There seemed to be an injury scare for the Indian as well but he was fine in the medal bout.

The 22-year-old won a bronze medal in Junior Asian Championship 2018. Soon after, a serious knee injury forced him out of the wrestling mat for almost two years. He made a winning return in 2021 when he won gold at the U-23 national championships. He also competed in the bronze medal play-off at the U-23 World Championships in Belgrade, Serbia. He reached the final of the 2021 senior national championships in November and ended with a silver medal.