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Rediff.com  » Sports » Wrestlers Yogeshwar, Amit make it to Olympics; Sushil fails

Wrestlers Yogeshwar, Amit make it to Olympics; Sushil fails

March 30, 2012 19:04 IST

Amit Kumar (55kg) and Yogeshwar Dutt (60kg) are the first Indian wrestlers to book berths at the London Olympics after clinching gold and silver medals respectively in the Asian qualifying tournament, in Astana, Kazakhstan.

However, the fancied Sushil Kumar (66kg) failed to make the cut from the event.

He and other Indian wrestlers can still make it from two other qualifying events in China (April 27-29) and Finland (May 4-6).

The finalists in each weight category at the ongoing tournament win tickets to the Games, and Asian champion Yogeshwar and Amit got them in the freestyle event.

Amit made the grade, overcoming China's Xiaobin Hong in the semi-finals. After a bye in the round of 16, he got the better of Yemen's Basheer Ahmed Mohammed Al Yamani in the quarters before overwhelming the Chinese wrestler in the semi-finals.

The Haryana-lad then blanked Shinichi Yumoto of Japan 5-0 in the summit clash.

Yogeshwar, meanwhile, stormed into the final, beating Mongolia's Mandakhnaran Ganzorig.

He beat the host country's Ulan Nadyrbek Uulu in the first round and made short work of Uzbekistan's Dilshod Mansurov in the quarters.

But the grappler lost 1-3 to Masoud Mahmoud Esmaeil Poorjouybari of Iran in the title bout and had to settle for silver.

The Indian had lost to the Iranian in the World Championships' final as well.

"I am happy to have qualified and this should now give me a few months of good tension-free training to get ready for London. I would like to thank the Mittal Champions Trust, which has been by my side through this long road, from when I didn't even know if I would ever compete again. I now have my sights firmly set on an Olympic medal," Yogeshwar said.

It was, however, a disappointing day for former World champion and Beijing Olympics bronze-medallist Sushil, as he lost in the semi-finals.

The wrestler beat Kazakhstan's Innokentii Innokentev in the first round before overwhelming Zalimkhan Yusupov of Tajikistan in his next bout. He looked good to make it to the final until he stumbled upon Kazakhstan's Akzhurek Tanatarov.

Sushil, however, ensured a medal for himself as he defeated China's Ye Erlanbieke Katai 3-1 in the repechage bout to clinch the bronze.

Yogeshwar started at the bottom of the field in 12th spot and won 2-1 against Nadyrbek. He won the first round 2-1, then lost the 2nd 0-3 before rounding it off 5-3.

Against his next opponent Mansurov Dilshod, Yogeshwar rallied from 0-1 to scrape through in the second round 2-1. He then steamrolled his opponent 6-0 in the final round.

In the semi-finals, Yogeshwar defeated Ganzorig Mandakhnaran in two straight rounds (1-0, 7-0) to secure his London qualification.

This was a second missed opportunity for Sushil, who had last year failed to defend his World Championship title.

He now has just a couple of chances to make it to the marquee event in London.

India's disappointment did not just end with Sushil's exit as Narsingh Yadav (74Kg), Pawan Kumar (84kg) and Mausam Khatri (96kg) also crashed out in the first round of the tournament.

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