BIRMINGHAM: After claiming gold medal in the Commonwealth Games
2022, Indian wrestler Deepak Punia said that he was focused on his game and added that he was nervous because on August 5, 2021, he lost the bronze-medal match at the Olympics and today (on Friday) was the same date.
Deepak topped the podium in men's freestyle 86kg category by defeating the 2010 and 2018 CWG gold medallist from Pakistan
, Muhammad Inam Butt, in the final at the Coventry Arena.
"I want to thank PM Narendra Modi for encouraging the players. He motivated me when I didn't get a medal in Olympics. So it was my responsibility to win a medal for our country," Deepak told ANI.
"I'm elated. I focused on my game & achieved my goal. It was a proud moment when our national anthem was played. I was a little nervous because on August 5, 2021, I lost the bronze medal in the Olympics & today was the same date," he added.
Deepak won the gold-medal match 3-0.
The Indian grappler took a 2-0 lead in the first period and all the pressure was on the Pakistan wrestler heading into the last three minutes.
Punia was in good form and in the second period, he managed to hold his own and kept his opponent at bay to walk away with the gold.
The defending champion from Pakistan struggled to find a way through Punia's strong defence and couldn't score a single point in the final.