COMMONWEALTH GAMES: Dykun wins England's first gold since 1986
MIROSLAV Dykun has claimed England's first wrestling Commonwealth Games gold medal for 24 years with a superb victory at Delhi 2010.
Ukrainian-born Dykun pinned Canada's Jack Bond to the mat in the final of the 66kg category competition to become the first wrestler in England colours to top the podium since Noel Loban did so at Edinburgh 1986.
The Greco-Roman wrestler began the day in emphatic fashion, seeing off home favourite Sunil Kumar, just a day after India were dominant on the mats, chalking up three medals.
Dykun then locked horns with Australia's Cory O'Brien and racked up a comfortable 5-0 win to book his place in the final with Canada's Bond.
And he saved his best for last against Bond, securing victory with a pin to notch up England's second wrestling medal of the XIX Commonwealth Games, after Terence Bosson took silver yesterday.
For Dykun, who moved to England seven years ago from Ukraine and has two British Championship titles to his name, it was more than ample justification for his decision to switch from freestyle earlier this year.
"I feel great," said the former Ukrainian. "I knew I had a chance here because I had such a good training camp in Russia before coming out. Everything has gone so well.
"Now I can look forward to London 2012."
Meanwhile, the 55kg category was won by India's Rajender Kumar, who beat Azhar Hussain of Pakistan in a hotly contested final.
Rajender Kumar registered his emphatic final victory despite a blow to the face and criticised Hussain's aggressive tactics after their match.
"Personally I was never trained by my guru to play foul," he said.
"My bleeding nose was a problem but I managed to deal with it."