London Olympics Preview: Wrestling




Olympic bronze medal thrown wrestling from pretty much unknown sports in India to limelight. Can they keep it up by winning a medal once again?

Wrestling for large, is known only to those Olympic sports persons and sports reporters in India. Sushil Kumar just like Rathore for shooting put a dot on wrestling in modern Indian. Sushil won the bronze medal in Beijing Olympics, a feat that was first achieved by K.D. Jadhav in 1952 Olympics. A four years between last and this Olympics saw Indian wrestling grow leaps and bounds. India had two world level wrestlers prior to London Olympics but an injury kept Ramesh Kumar out of London Olympics and everything is back on the shoulders of Sushil Kumar.  A medal possible again?

Men’s freestyle 55kg (Amit Kumar) –  No chance

A 2010 commonwealth gold medalist, Amit Kumar is the first Indian wrestler to qualify for London Olympics. He won gold medal in Asian Qualifying Tournament. Amit is just 19years old and this will be his first Olympics. Although his skills and form are promising, this category is primarily dominated by developed countries. One good positive information from experts are, this category has no outright favourties. Although Djamal Otarsultanov (Russia) and Radislov Velikov (Bulgaria) tipped for medal.

Men’s freestyle 60kg (Yogeshwar Dutt) – A hopeful chance at medal

A seasoned pro yet his chances are limited. Yogeshwar had shown great form recently and with London being his last Olympics, he will go all-out to win a medal. This is his third Olympic appearance, so he knows exactly what to expect at this level. He reached quarter-finals at Beijing Olympics and won gold medal at 2010 commonwealth games. There are as many as five top players named as favourites at this category with three time world title winner Russian Kudukhov as the man to beat.

Men’s freestyle 66kg (Sushil Kumar) – A medal surely

Beijing Olympics bronze medalist and 2010 world champion, Sushil survived a injury scare and earned a late qualification for London Olympics. He was written off after getting married and his form slump don’t help him in silencing critics. But Sushil came back strongly in the last Olympics qualifier at China where he won the title by defeating Olympic medalist, Georgia’s Otar Tushishvilli. He is the Indian flag bearer at London Olympics and clearly the shoulders of Indian wrestling pursuit of winning a Olympic medal this time. If Sushil avoids Japanese Yonemitsu and Iranian Taghavi till semis, then a medal is a surety.

Geeta Phogat (Women’s freestyle 55kg) and Narasingh Yadav (Men’s freestyle 74kg) can spring some surprises on their day but medal chances are nil. They would be lucky to reach quarter-finals in their respective categories.

A medal will definitely come from Wrestling and it will be Sushil Kumar who will decide whether its a gold or silver or bronze.

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