Former world champion and Beijing bronze medallist Sushil Kumar on Friday won the 66kg gold medal in the World qualifying wrestling tournament in Taiyuan, China, to make the cut for the London Olympics.
Sushil became the fourth Indian wrestler to book a berth for the London Games. This will be Sushil's third straight appearance in the Olympics.
Earlier, three Indian wrestlers, Amit Kumar (55kg) and Yogeshwar Dutt (60kg) in freestyle and Geeta (55kg) in women's section, had made the Olympics from the Astana event.
It was a big of relief for Sushil, who had been going through a lean patch for quite some time. The Delhi–based grappler, who received a first round bye, outsmarted Radley Umang of Palau by fall, got the better of Australian Jayden Lawrence 3-0, 2-0 and beat Andriy Kvyatkovskyy of Ukraine 1-0, 2-1 to ensure his place in the London Games. In the final, he defeated Georgian Otar Tushishvili 2-0, 1-0 to claim the gold.
Meanwhile, other top Indian freestyle wrestlers in contention for Olympic slots did not succeed in their mission. Narsingh Yadav (74kg), Pawan Kumar (84kg) and Mausam Khatri (96kg) lost early. Khatri, who lost to eventual champion Magomed Musaev of Kyrgyzstan, had a chance to clinch the third Olympic spot in his weight. However, he failed in the repechage round.
Keywords: Sushil Kumar