GOLD COAST: Pakistan joined the list of gold medal winning nations here at the 21st Commonwealth Games on Saturday when wrestler Mohammad Inam Butt, displaying a powerful performance in the 86kg category, overcame his formidable opponent Melvin Bibo of Nigeria to to clinch the first gold medal for his country.
Inam dominated the thrilling bout from the outset and kept Bibo under pressure with his brilliant technique to bag three early points in the first round.
In the second round, Inam kept attacking his rival and bagged three more points to win the bout amid thunderous chants of Pakistan Zindabad from the sizeable crowd.
Tayyab Raza bags bronze in 125kg category
Later on, speaking to mediamen, Inam said the gold medal is his tribute to his beloved country. Thanking the Almighty Allah, he expressed his gratitude to the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA), the PSB, Pakistan Wrestling Federation (PWF) and his coaches for their support and prayers.
He further said that his bout against India’s Somveer Singh was really tough but God gave him the strength to emerge a winner.
Earlier, in his run up to the final, Inam defeated Australia’s Jayden Lawrence 14-4, Canada’s Alexander Moore in fall and India’s Somveer Singh 10-0.
In another big achievement of the day, Pakistan’s Tayyab Raza won a bronze medal by finishing third in the 125kg category here. Raza won two out of four bouts in the event played according to Nordic system, which is like a round robin system where the top athlete on the table wins the Gold.
He got 11 classification points and 14 technical points with two wins and two defeats to finish third in the completion to win the Bronze medal. The tough Pakistani wrestler defeated Claude Mbianga and Sinive Boltic while losing against India’s Sumit and Canada’s Korey Jarvis.
Meanwhile, Pakistani athlete Arshad Nadeem finished eighth in the javelin finals by throwing a distance of 76.20.
Later, POA president Gen (retd) Arif Hasan, secretary POA Khalid Mehmood, Chef de Mssion Lt Gen (r) Muzammil Hussain and PWF president Abdul Mubeen Chaudhry congratulated Inam Butt for winning the first gold medal and also lauded Tayyab for the bronze.
Pakistan now stands at 22nd position in the Commonwealth Games here.
Published in Dawn, April 15th, 2018