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Wrestling: Shock defeat for Yogeshwar in qualification round

Last updated on: August 21, 2016 20:19 IST
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IMAGE: India's Yogeshwar Dutt and Mandakhnaran Ganzorig of Mongolia compete in the men's Freestyle 65 kg qualification round at the Rio Olympics on Sunday. Photograph: Toru Hanai/Reuters.

In a massive heartbreak for India, wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt slumped to a shock defeat in the men's 65kg freestyle qualification round bout against Ganzorigiin Mandakhnaran of Mongolia at the Rio Olympic Games on Sunday.

The London Olympics bronze medallist's only hope of making it to the medal rounds lay in his Mongolian opponent reaching the gold medal round.

Mandakhnaran is a gold medallist from the 2010 Asian Games and a two-time World Championships bronze winner. 

He, however, failed to make the final, losing 0-6 to Russian Soslan Ramonov in the quarter-finals.

Thus, Yogeshwar couldn't make it to the two repechage rounds, and the subsequent bronze medal play-off. 

The 33-year-old grappler from Haryana, in his fourth and, in all probability, last Olympics, looked a pale shadow of his previous self as he lost 0-3 to the Mongolian grappler.

He failed to get around Mandakhnaran, who moved at a very fast pace. 

In the opening period, Mandakhnaran earned a point in 30 seconds due to the passivity of Yogeshwar to take a 1-0 lead. He then turned a defensive position into an attacking one to take down Yogeshwar and quickly bag two points and surge ahead. 

With a minute to go, Yogeshwar failed to get around his opponent and went into the break 0-3 down. 

Yogeshwar, who qualified only in March this year for the Rio Games after struggling with a knee injury, was expected to turn it around in the second period but he just could not script a comeback. 

In the last minute of the bout, he tried to pin down his opponent but his efforts were in vain. 

Yogeshwar had lost in the pre-quarter-finals of the men's 60 kg freestyle category at the London Games to then World champion Besik Kudukhov of Russia, but went on to win a bronze after working his way through three rounds of repechage.

The seven-member Indian wrestling team thus ended its campaign with a solitary bronze, won by Sakshi Malik in the women's 58kg category.

The squad was originally eight-strong but Narsingh Yadav could not participate after being slapped with a doping ban by the Court of Arbitration for Sports.

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