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Wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt loses in quarter-finals

August 19, 2008 15:09 IST

India's hope of a medal from the Olympics [Images] wrestling competition suffered a rude jolt when their main star Yogeshwar Dutt crashed out after losing to Japan's [Images] Kenichi Yumoto 3-6 in the quarter-finals of the 60 kg freestyle in Beijing [Images] on Tuesday.

As his coach, P R Sondhi, put it, for once the Indian cannot complain of a tough draw.

Yogeshwar had the best of the pools and a bye to start with. The 26-year-old Indian won his pre-quarter-final round against Baurzhan Orazgaliyev of Kazakhstan 8-3.

The Asian champion was too fast and agile for his 23-year-old opponent, whose best was a third place at the 2006 Asian Championship.

However, it was Baurzhan who won the first round 2-0, but Dutt came back strongly to win the next 3-0 to make it 1-1. In the third round he virtually outclassed the Kazakh wrestler to emerge winner.

Dutt started as the favourite in the quarter-finals against Yumota, whom he had beaten earlier this year at the Asian Championship, which he won.

The Indian started on a wining note, scoring a quick point but then just went astray and lost the plot. The 24-year-old Japanese kept his nerve, and knowing his rival's style, played the waiting game.

Dutt scored another point and then, in a bid to garner two more points, went for a throw. Here he miscalculated, as Yumoto avoided contact and earned two points, which changed the complexion of the bout.

Yumoto took two more points in this round to take his tally to 4-2 and in the third round wrestled cautiously as the desperate Indian went flat out to pin down his rival.

Dutt was left with no alternative but to try and nail the Japanese for an outright win, but Yumoto turned out to be a better thinking grappler as he avoided the trap and much contact in the decider and emerged a 2-1 winner in this round also. With a 6-3 tally he moved into the semi-finals.

''We lost a bout we should have won,'' Sondhi said.

"It was an easy draw for Dutt he could not have asked for better draw in the Olympics."

According to the coach, though Dutt wrestled well, he was not very calculated.

"He should have avoided the throw tactics when he was leading with one point in the second round.

"Dutt went on the attack when he should have been moving back; his unsuccessful throw cost him not only the two points, but the bout."

Sondhi was of the view that this was the bout Dutt shouldn't have lost, ''because I don't think Yumoto was a very formidable opponent. It was our wrestler who squandered away the advantage despite fighting well".

"Look, Yumoto lost to his Ukraine rival Vasyl Fedoryshyn 3-7 in the semi-finals, so if Dutt had won his bout we had a very strong chances of winning a medal,'' he added.

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