In Birmingham on Saturday, the fearsome Vinesh Phogat put herself in position to win a hat-trick of CWG gold medals by putting aside the physical and mental challenges that held her back. The equally formidable Ravi Dahiya also breezed into the final.
Samantha Leigh Stewart, who won the bronze medal at the world championship, was the opponent in what was supposed to be a difficult opening match, but Vinesh quickly declared it a no contest.
After pushing the Canadian onto the mat, Vinesh quickly pinned her opponent after putting her in a head lock.
It was already over before participants could get into the competition.
Mercy Bolafunoluwa Adekuoroye of Nigeria was the next opponent for the 27-year-old Vinesh. At first, she resisted, but soon the Indian had her in an iron grasp. Vinesh displayed incredible power by holding her there for more than a minute.
There are only four wrestlers in the women’s 53kg draw, therefore Vinesh must defeat Chamodya Keshani Maduravlage Don of Sri Lanka to earn her third consecutive gold.
Since her failure at the Tokyo Games, where she made a shocking first-round exit after entering the competition as the heavy favourite to win the gold medal, Vinesh has struggled with her form and fitness.
Ravi Kaumar Dahiya, a silver medalist from the Tokyo Olympics, was also superior in his field. He defeated Suraj Singh of New Zealand and Asad Ali of Pakistan to win both matches by greater technical ability.
He will compete for his first CWG gold against Nigeria’s Ebikewenimo Welson.
Naveen (74 kg) is also competing for the gold. He started off with TSU victories over Ogbonna Emmanuel John of Nigeria, Hong Yeow Lou of Singapore, and Charlie James Bowling of England.