Grapplers Amit, Narsingh crash out

London: India`s hopes of increasing their meagre medal tally on Day 14 at the Olympic Games went up in smoke when grapplers Amit Kumar Dahiya and Narsingh Pancham Yadav crashed out of the wrestling competition at the ExCel Arena here on Friday.

Between the two matmen, Amit put up the better show when he won a bout to enter the quarter-finals and lost the next two, including a repechage, to make his exit from the 55kg weight category.

Amit carved out a convincing 3-1 victory over his much stronger and taller Iranian rival Rahimi Hassan Sabzali, the reigning Asian champion, in their pre-quarter final fight and then was defeated by an identical score by Georgia`s Vladimer Khinchegashvili later in the contest for a place in the semis.

The Georgian went on to win his next bout against Japanese rival Shinichi Yumoto to enter the finals, thus giving a lifeline to Amit to fight his way to the bronze through repechage.

But the 19-year-old Indian could not get past his next hurdle, Radoslav Marinov Velikov of Bulgaria, in the second repechage round and made his exit while the winner went on to clash with Yumoto for the bronze medal.

Narsingh, on the other hand, was outclassed by his much superior Canadian rival Matthew Judah Gentry and lost his opener 1-3. He then made his exit when the Canadian lost in the next round.

The exit of Amit and Narsingh has left only Beijing Games bronze medallist Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt remaining in the fray on the mat.

Thursday, lone woman wrestler Geeta Phogat had made her exit by losing two successive bouts in the 55kg class.

Today, the dismal run of the men`s hockey team will end with the Michael Nobbs-coached side pitted against South Africa in the battle to avoid the wooden spoon.

With the athletics programme reaching its crescendo, there was no Indian interest left on Friday. Only two more competitors in track and field events, Basanta Bahadur Rana in men`s 50km race walk and marathon runner Ram Singh Yadav, are to make their appearance over the next two days.

India have so far won four medals in the Games, two in men`s shooting and one each in women`s badminton and boxing.