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Commonwealth Games 2018: Wrestler Babita Kumari enters final, assures medal for India

Babita Kumari shook off a strong start by the Nigerian to clinch a 3-1 win.

Commonwealth Games 2018: Wrestler Babita Kumari enters final, assures medal for India

Gold Coast: Indian wrestler Babita Kumari entered the final of the women's 53-kilogram wrestling competition at the 21st Commonwealth Games in Australia's Gold Coast on Thursday.

Babita Kumari started off by defeating Bose Samuel of Nigeria in her opening bout. Babita shook off a strong start by the Nigerian to clinch a 3-1 win.

Samuel had taken the early lead but Babita pulled off a two-point move to put her nose ahead. She earned another point with a takedown to bolster her lead.

Babita was even more dominant in her next bout, defeating Sri Lanka's Deepika Dilhani by fall early in the first period.

The Haryana wrestler was too good for Carissa Holland of Australia as well, clinching another victory by fall to enter the final.

Meanwhile, Indian wrestlers Rahul Aware and Sushil Kumar entered the finals of their respective categories in the men's freestyle competition at the Gold Coast Games.

Aware, appearing in his first CWG in the men's 57-kilogram category, did well to qualify for the summit clash in style.

He did face some trouble from a spirited Muhammed Bilal of Pakistan in the semi-finals before clinching a thrilling 12-8 victory. He will meet Steven Takahashi of Canada in the final. The Canadian defeated Ebikewenimo Welson of Nigeria in the other semi-final.

Aware's semi-final was a thrilling contest as Bilal came up with a spirited performance. 

The Pakistani attacked right from the start but the Indian pulled off an effective counter-attack to take a 3-0 lead. Bilal continued to attack and managed a takedown which earned him two points.

Bilal displayed some excellent counter wrestling techniques to draw level at 4-4 early in the second round.

But the jubilation in the Pakistan camp did not last long as Aware pulled off a takedown before managing an ankle hold and to roll Bilal over several times for a 10-4 lead.

Bilal continued to fight and reduced the gap by two points with a single leg hold.

Aware bolstered his lead with another two-point move and although Bilal managed to score yet again with around 30 seconds to go, the Indian earned another couple of points in the final few seconds.

While Sushil, the defending champion in the men's 74kg freestyle category, overpowered Jevon Balfour of Canada by technical superiority to enter the quarter-finals. 

Another technical superiority verdict over Muhammad Asad Butt of Pakistan propelled him into the semi-finals where he overpowered Australia's Connor Evans by fall in the very first round.

Sushil thus entered the CWG final for the third consecutive time. He had won gold in the now disbanded 66kg category at the 2010 edition in New Delhi before winning the 74kg title at the 2014 CWG in Glasgow, Scotland.

(With IANS Inputs)