CWG 2022: Wrestling Matches Put on Hold After Speaker Falls From Ceiling
Games had to be stopped and spectators were asked to vacate the hall minutes after the first session began.
In an unexpected turn of events, the wrestling bouts at the Commonwealth Games had to be stopped and spectators were asked to vacate the hall after a speaker fell from the ceiling, minutes after the first session began.
Fans and officials were asked to leave the arena for a 'health and safety check' as chaos reigned supreme on the opening day of the wrestling competition.
The morning session was halted for more than two hours. A security officer and an Indian, Scottish and Pakistan team official told PTI that a speaker fell from the hall ceiling leading to a long delay.
The session was stopped at 11.22am Birmingham local time and then it was announced that action would resume at 12.15pm. The resumption timing was changed thrice at the time of writing.
"We have been hearing that a speaker fell and everyone was told to vacate the area for a safety check," said a security officer at the venue.
An Indian official said, "We are in the warm up area. We heard about a speaker falling near the mat." A Pakistani team official was also inside the hall at the time of incident said, "I could not see it but something fell down. They said a speaker and we had to come out."
Everyone inside the venue was tight-lipped about what exactly happened as the spectators waited in the corridor, seeking clarity on resumption.
"We have been waiting for more than an hour. They said it would start soon but we have no clarity as of now," said Inderpal, fan.
United World Wrestling, the world govering body of wrestling, meanwhile, put up an update via their Twitter handle that the matches will resume at 6pm IST following the delay.
Nine bouts had already taken place before session was stopped. Gold medal contender Bajrang Punia and Deepak Punia had won their bouts comfortably.
The incident occured right after India's Deepak Punia had won his opening 86kg bout. The gathered fans were asked to vacate and a thorough check was ordered by the organisers, who fixed a restart of the session at 12:45 local time in England.
"All are safe, they are just rechecking the whole system to avoid any untoward incident," said a coach.
Earlier in the day, star Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia needed less than two minutes to move to the 65kg quarterfinals as he pinned Naurau's Lowe Bingham in his opening bout
Bajrang, who has entered the field as the defending champion, measured his rival for about a minute and then put him on the mat from a lock position to finish the bout in a jiffy.
Bingham had no clue what struck him as the wrestler from the island nation was at sea. Next up for Bajrang, the Olympic bronze medallist, is Jean Guyliane Joris Bandou of Mauritius.
Apart from Deepak and Bajrang, the other Indian wrestler taking the mat on Friday in the men's freestyle competition is Mohit Grewal (125kg). In the women's event, Anshu Malik (57kg), Sakshi Malik (62kg) and Divya Kakran (68kg) will present India's challenge.
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