Glasgow: Indian wrestlers continued their impressive showing in the 20th Commonwealth Games with Bijneesh Bajrang, Satyawart Kadian, Lalita and Sakshi Malik assuring themselves of at least a silver medal each by entering the finals of their respective events in Glasgow on Wednesday. (Day 7 Blog | Results)
While Bajrang and Kadian advanced to the finals of the men's 61kg and 97kg freestyle categories, Lalita and Sakshi booked their berths in the summit clash of women's 53kg and 58kg respectively.
Bajrang ensured his final berth after beating Amas Daniel of Nigeria 3-2 in a hard-fought semifinal bout.
Bajrang, the 2013 World Championship bronze medallist, was 0-2 down in the first minute of the semifinal bout but made a superb comeback to take a 5-2 lead after the first period of three minutes and then maintained his lead till the end.
Bajrang had earlier defeated Sasha Madyarchyk of England inside the three-minute mark in his opening bout at the SECC before overpowering South Africa's Marno Plaatjies 4-1 in the quarterfinal.
In the semifinal, Bajrang floored Amas Daniel of Nigeria 3-1 to advance to the gold medal bout, where he will face David Tremblay of Canada later on Wednesday.
In the men's 97kg category, Kadian started his campaign on a resounding note and took less than two minutes to overpower Uduwila Manjula of Sri Lanka to storm into the quarterfinals.
The referee stopped the bout in 1:45 min of the first period after Kadian led by 10 points. Kadian, the 2014 Asian Championships bronze medallist, won the bout 4-0.
Kadian then defeated Soso Tamarau of Nigeria 3-1 to advance to the semifinals, where he got the better of Englishman Leon Rattigan 3-1 to seal his place in the title clash, where Arjun Gill of Canada awaits him.
Meanwhile in women's competition, Lalita hardly had to break a sweat to enter the 53kg final as she overpowered home favourite Shannon Hawke of Scotland 5-0.
Earlier in the day, Lalita entered the semifinals after an identical 4-0 win over South African Mpho Madi in a lospided quarterfinal contest. The referee stopped the bout in the first period itself after the Indian led 10-0 on technical points.
Lalita will take on Odunayo Adekuoroye of Nigeria in the final later on Wednesday night.
Sakshi, however, had to fight hard before winning her semifinal bout against Braxton Rei Stone of Canada 8-5 on technical points.
Sakshi was leading 8-0 at the end of the first period of three minutes and it looked like that the Indian would end the bout by taking another two points. But Stone fought back and pocketed five points in the second period to keep the contest alive.
Sakshi did not allow her opponent to take further points and survived a tense few seconds to make it to the final.
Earlier, Sakshi, the 2013 Commonwealth Championships bronze medallist, beat Edwige Eyia Ngono of Cameroon 4-0 in a lopsided quarterfinal contest. She will play another Nigerian Aminat Adeniyi in the final.
Another woman grappler, Navjot Kaur too has a chance of bagging a medal for India as he takes on Scotland's Sarah Jones in the bronze medal play-off bout.