Loses to Kudukhov of Russia in the 60kg pre-quarterfinals
Yogeshwar Dutt lost to four-time World champion Besik Kudukhov of Russia in the pre-quarterfinals of the 60 kg category in men’s freestyle wrestling in the Olympics at the ExCel Arena here on Saturday.
However, the Asian champion and the Beijing Games quarterfinalist, Yogeshwar’s hopes of a medal was revived when the Russian went on to make the final, beating an Iranian and a Korean along the way.
In wrestling, all those who lose to the eventual finalists compete in two halves for the two bronze medals.
Since he had lost in the second round of the main draw, Yogeshwar was drawn to meet World championship silver medallist Franklin Gomez Matos of Puerto Rico in the first round of the repechage.
Matos had lost to the Russian in the first round. If he pulls it off, Yogeshwar would meet the former Asian champion Masoud Esmaeilpoorjouybari of Iran.
A victory in the second round of repechage would see him face the semifinalist Ri Jong Myong of the Peoples Republic of Korea in the fight for the bronze medal.
It was a bit discouraging that Yogeshwar, who had come through a career-threatening knee injury, failed to record a point against the tough Russian Besik Kudukhov, but did well to stretch the first period to ‘sudden death’.
The Russian managed to win technical points in the second period to cruise ahead.
Earlier, the 29-year-old Yogeshwar started well by beating Anatolie Ilarionovitch Guidea of Bulgaria, the former World championship silver medallist, 7-3 on technical points after a sedate start.
Yogeshwar lost the extended first period, but scored two points to clinch the second period to force the tie-break. In the third period, the Indian wrestler was able to score five points to two by his opponent to clinch the issue 3-1 on classification points.
After Geeta Phogat in the women’s section and Amit Kumar in the men’s55 kg freestyle section had failed to capitalise on the repechage, the Indian hopes rested on Yogeshwar for a reversal of fortunes.
Former World champion and Beijing Games bronze medallist, Sushil Kumar, who had carried the National flag in the Opening Ceremony, will compete in the 66 kg category on Sunday.