Strong desire kept me driving: Yogeshwar Dutt
He said it was a dream come true for him to win an Olympic medal and all his hard work for the past few years have finally borne fruit.
"I dedicate this win to all my countrymen, my coaches who also worked equally hard and my well-wishers. Without them this could not have been possible," Yogeshwar said after his bronze-winning effort.
The 29-year-old Yogeshwar prevailed over North Korea`s Ri Jong Myong 3-1 in the third round of repechage to become the third Indian to win an Olympic medal in wrestling after Khashaba Yadav (1952) and Sushil Kumar (2008).
"My group was very tough and I had to fight with the world champion. I wanted to win and I had practised a lot for it. I am happy that I could achieve my dream of winning a medal," he said.
"I was very down after I lost in the morning, but when I got the chance to compete in the repechage the whole country wanted a medal from me," he said.
On winning the bronze medal, he said, "I didn`t want to lose this occasion – God has been very kind to me." On how he won the fight against Myong, he said, "I used the technique of `fitele` (leg-twisting technique) and I gained five points, that gave me the victory. I am happy that it worked for me."
Yogeshwar conceded that he was quite tired after fighting three opponents in less than an hour for the medal. "My first round was tough, then I faced the world champion (Besik KuduKhov of Russia), then afterwards in the repechage, the silver medalist (Franklin Gomes Matos of Puerto Rico), then it was the Iranian (Masoud Esmaeilpoorjouybar) who I have faced a lot, so I was very tired when I got to the bronze-medal match. But one thing that kept driving me – I have to win this medal for the country."