» Sports » Asian Games: Yogeshwar ends India's 28-year gold drought in wrestling

Asian Games: Yogeshwar ends India's 28-year gold drought in wrestling

Last updated on: September 28, 2014 17:38 IST
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India's Yogeshwar Dutt poses with the gold medal. Photograph: PTI Photos

London Olympics bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt ended India's 28-year gold drought in wrestling at the Asian Games, in Incheon, on Sunday.

He beat Zalimkhan Yusupov of Tajikistan in the men's 65kg freestyle and accounted for the country's fourth yellow metal at the 17th Asiad.

This is India's first Asian Games wrestling gold since 1986, when Kartar Singh triumphed at the Seoul Games.

However, both Satywart Kadian and Babita Kumari lost out on third-place finishes, as they went down in the men's 97kg and women's 55kg freestyle.

Yogeshwar was the day's star performer as he bettered his 2006 edition bronze medal finish with a couple of splendid bouts.

The Indian, who trailed all through in his semi-final before coming good in the last few seconds to enter the final, won the gold in style.

India's Yogeshwar Dutt celebrates after winning the final against Zalimkhan Yusupov of Tajikistan. Photograph: PTI Photos

He, however, had to toil in a gruelling final, as Yusupov defended extremely well.

Yogeshwar tried to pin his opponent down time and again but failed. He won his first point at the end of the opening period.

In the second, he earned two more to get a 3-0 verdict.

Earlier, Yogeshwar, having beaten Jinhyok Kang of North Korea 3-1, a decision by points, in his quarter-final bout, clashed with Yeerlanbieke Katai in the last four stage.

The Chinese was dominant and led throughout before the Indian turned the bout around in the last few seconds.

Yogeshwar was trailing 7-9 but managed to pin down his opponent in the dying minutes of the match to win via 'victory by fall' verdict.

India's Yogeshwar Dutt celebrates after winning the gold medal in the men's 65kg freestyle wrestling. Photograph: PTI Photos

Meanwhile, Satywart was beaten comprehensively by Mamed Ibragimov of Kazakhstan 0-3 in the bronze-medal match.

Satywart, who lost his quarter-final bout to Magomed Musaev of Kyrgyzstan 1-3 in a 'decision by points' verdict, could make it to the repechage round as his opponent reached the final.

In his repechage, Satywart proved too strong for Pakistan's Bilal Hussain Awan, who he defeated on great technical superiority 12-0 to make it to the bronze medal play-off.

On her way to the semi-finals, Babita first defeated Cambodia's Srey Mao Dorn 5-0 in a 'victory by fall' verdict in the Round of 16 and then got the better of Aiym Abdildina of Kazakhstan 3-1 'decision by point' verdict to make it to the last four stage.

In the semis, Babita had an uphill task as she faced the 15-time World champion Saori Yoshida of Japan.

As expected, the Japanese, who is three-time Olympic gold medallist, proved too strong for the Indian. Although Babita tried her best, Yoshida won 4-0, on great superiority (a difference of 10 points) 14-4.

But in the bronze-medal round, Xuechun Zhong of China downed Babita 3-1.

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