Sushil Kumar, who only returned to the international stage last month, won the 74kg title in South Africa ©Getty Images

Sushil Kumar won the 74 kilogram men's freestyle category at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championships in Johannesburg.

The Indian, who won bronze and silver medals at the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics respectively, defeated compatriot Parveen Rana 5-4 in the final.

Kumar returned to competitive wrestling in November at the Senior Nationals in his homeland, winning a gold medal after controversially receiving three walkovers from other wrestlers.

Coincidentally, Rana was one of the wrestlers who gave him one of those walkovers.

The 78kg bronze medal went to Canada’s Jasmit Singh Phulka.

After his title win, Kumar posted a message on social media thanking his coach.

"It's a very proud and emotional moment for me as I have returned to the mat on international level after a gap of three years," he said.

"I want to dedicate this gold medal won to my guru [coach] and to my nation."

Kumar was forced to resign from his role as national observer for wrestling after November's Senior Nations competition, as Indian Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore said it was not possible for active athletes to hold the position.

After Kumar's win in South Africa, there was more success for India in the women's 62kg freestyle as Rio 2016 bronze medallist Sakshi Malik took the title by beating New Zealand's Tayla Tuahine Ford 13-2.

The bronze medal was shared by India's Pooja Tomar and Aminat Adeniyi of Nigeria.

Blessing Oborududu won a silver medal in the 68kg category at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championships ©Getty Images
Blessing Oborududu won a silver medal in the 68kg category at the Commonwealth Wrestling Championships ©Getty Images

Along with Adeniyi’s bronze, Nigeria's women had an excellent Championship in Johannesburg, with Blessing Oborududu and Gofit Winnie taking silvers in the 68kg and 72kg categories respectively whilst Kemeasuodei Dressman clinched gold in the 76kg.

Nigeria's wrestlers had had problems with their preparations prior the tournament, with several athletes, including 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Mercy Genesis, being dropped from the team due to lack of funds.

President of the Nigeria Wrestling Federation, Daniel Igali, praised the athletes' displays in South Africa in a text message to the Nigerian Guardian.

"The performance of the wrestlers was fantastic," he said.

"God keeps away flies from the tailless cow."

However, he also said there were still financial problems.

"I was able to offset the first two days of our hotel accommodation, but the last two days are a problem now," he said.

"I am still negotiating the $2,700 (£2022/€2285) bill to be paid at a later date.

"Anyway, considering that this was a core preparatory ground for the Commonwealth Games, I can tell you we have a ton of work to do."

The Commonwealth Games will take place in Gold Coast, Australia, from April 4 to 15.