Wrestler Sharif Tahir reached the finals of the 74-kilogramme freestyle category at the Commonwealth Games on Saturday, boosting the country’s hopes of another medal.

He beat his opponent — New Zealand’s Cole Hawkins — 11-0 through a victory by technical superiority, without any point scored by the latter.

He will next face India’s Naveen Naveen today for the gold medal. The match is scheduled for sometime between 9pm and 11:30pm.

Earlier this week, Nooh Dastagir Butt smashed the Common­wealth Games record and earned a gold medal for Pakistan.

On the sixth day of competition in Birmingham, it was Butt’s breathtaking lift that delivered the gold, the 23-year-old improving on his bronze at the previous edition of the Games in Australia’s Gold Coast four years ago.

He had signalled his intent to win gold from the start of the men’s +109kg weightlifting final when he was imperious in the scratch — first lifting 170kg and then improving it to 173kg in his second attempt.

A botched attempt at 175kg didn’t matter. He led the field halfway through the final, with New Zealander David Andrew Liti (170kg) second and India’s Gurdeep Singh in a tie for the third spot with Gordon Shaw at 167kg.

Butt then obliterated the field in the clean and jerk session, twice beating marks of 218kg and 224kg by Liti, as well as a lift of 223kg by Gurdeep, by lifting 225kg in his first attempt and then a massive 232kg to finish with a total of 405kg. He bettered the record of 403kg set by Liti on the way to gold four years ago.

Hours earlier, judoka Shah Hussain had gotten Pakistan off the mark on the medals table when he won bronze in the men’s -90kg category at the Coventry Stadium.

The 29-year-old Shah Hussain, the son of Pakistan’s legendary boxer Hussain Shah, overwhelmed South African Thomas-Laszlo Breyytenbach by ippon — the highest score a fighter can achieve — in their bronze medal bout.


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