Monday 15 October 2019 was a day the expat community of Pakistanis in Qatar will never forget. Muhammad Inam the sole gold medallist for Pakistan at the 2018 Commonwealth Games made his nation proud once more and sent the dozens of his jubilant compatriots who flock to the wrestling venue in Katara Beach into raptures, with his triumph in the 90kg final.
A rare but well-deserved medal for Pakistan on the first day of wrestling competition which saw big crowds creating a fantastic atmosphere in the stands.
Inam showed his class from the early rounds and powered up his capacity when he found himself one point down to the 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Dato Marsagishvili in the final game. With his aggressive style a determined Inam threw his opponent down to get the big three in the end and seal his position on top of the podium.
“For the last three months I was training for this one, to beat that guy. I knew he was the strongest that’s why for three months I dedicated my training on his technique,” explained Inam in the mixed zone after posing for several selfies with his devoted fans.
“Wherever Pakistanis see their compatriots competing in sports they always show their love, because there are not many great athletes in our country. I came here, I played hard and they love me for that,” he said and explained why he is so good in Beach Wrestling. “This is my own game because in Pakistan we have a similar type of wrestling. That’s why I find a better grip than the other wrestlers do.”
The bronze medal went to Spain’s Pedro Jacinto Garcia Perze who beat Romania’s Mihai Nicolae Palaghia in the third-place game.
Marsagishvili lost his final, but the Georgian anthem sounded in Katara courtesy of Levan Kelekhsashvili’s victory over Azerbaijan’s Panah Ilyasli (AZE) in the final 70kg showdown. The Georgian took Ilyasli by surprise and grabbed a quick valuable point, which proved sufficient for the gold medal since his opponent found no grip to bring him down or throw him out of the ring. Stefan Ionut Coman (ROU) won the bronze medal.
The first gold medal of the day went to Brazil to Kamila Barbosa Vito da Salva who stunned Nigeria’s former African Games champion Miesinnei Mercy Genesis, taking her down with a sudden move with the clock ticking down towards the end of the match-up. Bulgaria’s Miglena Selishka Georgieva bagged the bronze in the 50kg category.
Colombia’s new wrestling sensation, 18-year-old Tatiana Renteria Renteria introduced herself to the wrestling world, beating the experienced Ukrainian Alina Berezhna in a tough 70kg final which ended with 3-2 in favour of the Pan-American junior champion. Romania celebrated a second bronze with Adina Elena Popescu’s victory over Hungary’s Gabriella Sleisz.
Day 2 in Beach Wrestling schedule commences tomorrow at 16:30 with matches in the men’s 80kg and over 90kg and women’s 60kg and over 70kg categories.