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Geeta, first female wrestler, books London berth

New Delhi: Geeta today created history by becoming the first Indian female wrestler to have qualified for the Olympics after she won a gold medal in the Asian Qualifying Tournament in Astana, Kazakhstan. Geeta defeated Ji-Eun Um of Korea 5-0 on technical points in the summit clash of the 55kg female wrestling category to not only pocket a gold, but also a place in the upcoming London Olympics.

Both the gold and silver medallists from the Asian qualifying event, which ended today, will get a ticket to the London Games. This is the first time an Indian female grappler has qualified for the Olympics since women`s wrestling was introduced in the quadrennial extravaganza in 2004. Geeta had earlier defeated Gulina Kubatbek Kyzy of Kyrgyzstan in her opening bout gettting the better of Thai grappler Wilaiwan Thongkam in the next.

The Indian`s next victim was Aiym Abdildina of Kazakhstan which gave her ticket to the final round and also a place in the London Games. Apart from Geeta, male wrestlers Amit Kumar (55kg) and Yogeshwar Dutt (60kg) had earlier qualified for the London Olympics by clinching a gold and silver medal respectively at the Asian Qualifying event last week even as the fancied Sushil Kumar (66kg) failed to make the cut. Besides the Astana event, India will also get a chance to field their wrestlers in two other qualifying events ? China (April 27-29) and Finland (May 4-6).

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