CWG wrestling: Anita wins 67kg freestyle gold | delhi | Hindustan Times
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CWG wrestling: Anita wins 67kg freestyle gold

delhi Updated: Oct 08, 2010 19:22 IST

IANS
Highlight Story

India's female Commonwealth Games wrestling squad celebrated their most successful day in history on Friday, adding to the nation's burgeoning golds tally and closing the gap with the men.

The host nation took two golds and a silver, bringing the biggest crowd of the week to its feet chanting "India, India" at the Indira Gandhi arena.

Newly-crowned national star Anita (eds note: one name only) completed a dream day when she won the freestyle title.

"It felt great to see my flag rising in the middle," she said. "I've been through two months of hard training. After this win I'm more confident for future events."

Anita and her Canadian opponent Megan Buydens were deadlocked in the early stages of their 67kg bout before Anita managed to throw the Canadian for a huge three points, sparking screams of applause from the near-full arena.

Women's wrestling was been included at the Games for the first time, with India taking three of the seven golds on offer, compared with a haul of four so far for the much-vaunted men's squad.

Alka Tomar, winner of the 59kg gold, took just one session to defeat Canadian Tonya Verbeek with a ruthless show of raw power.

"It does mean a lot to me," she said. "Definitely there was a lot of pressure. My family was watching me from the stands and in case I would have lost the gold medal I would have had to explain myself to them."

Tomar had looked in formidable shape coming into the final, winning her semi within a few seconds.

Asked what have given her the energy for such an explosive start, she said: "Nothing. I just had a soft drink in the morning."

Verbeek, the first Canadian woman to win an Olympic medal in wrestling, announced she would likely retire, adding: "One mistake during the bout was the reason why I lost."

It would have been a clean sweep for India but for Nigerian champion Ifeoma Nwoye, who defeated home favourite Babita Kumari in the 51kg final.

Nwoye said: "I was sure before the bout that I'd win gold. I didn't come here for silver."

The Indian got a huge reception as she stepped up to receive her silver but will reflect on a final of missed opportunities in which she twice dropped Nwoye but failed to pin her.

"I think there must have been a fault with my practice routine -- it was not enough," said a tearful Kumari.

"My father dreamt about the gold and I wanted his dream to become real.

"But the medal still means a lot to me because I fought really hard for it. I practised really, really hard for the gold in this event. But I didn't make it. This is why I'm crying."