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India anticipate medals as wrestlers get ready

Publication Date : 09-08-2012

 

Indian wrestlers join Olympic action today, hoping to provide late sparks to the contingent's campaign which has not really lived up to popular expectations with many serious medal-contenders flopping. Wrestling yielded a bronze medal in the Beijing Olympics, with Sushil Kumar winning it.

All eyes will be on him again as he spearheads the Indian challenge in the 66kg category. India have fielded a record five wrestlers and Yogeshwar Dutt (60kg) is also being talked about as a medal prospect.

Narsingh Pancham Yadav (74kg), Amit Kumar Dahiya (74kg) and Geeta Phogat (55kg) are the others in the fray. Dutt, having narrowly missed out on reaching the semi-finals in the Beijing Games, is determined to make amends here. Going by his performances, he is quite capable of springing a surprise.

“If I'd won a medal in Beijing, I might not have been competing in London,” said Dutt, who suffered a career-threatening knee injury just after the 2008 Olympics. Kumar emphasised his class by winning a gold medal in the World Qualifying Tournament earlier this year, raising hopes he would do well in the Olympics.

In the women's category, the lone Indian to make the cut, Geeta Phogat (55kg), faces a tough challenge but is capable of springing a surprise. And if she gets a top-eight seeding, she might even finish on the podium. “Geeta has the ability to cause a few upsets and if she gets a place in the top eight, I can say she will be a step closer to a medal,” women's chief coach O P Yadav has said.

With reports from agencies

 

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