Yogeshwar bags Olympics berth

Astana (Kazakhstan): Star wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt bagged an Olympic quota and the gold medal in the men’s 65 kg freestyle category at the ongoing Asian qualifying tournament here on Saturday.

Yogeshwar easily overpowered his opponents enroute to the final where Katai Yeerlanbieke of China forfeited the bout to hand the Indian the gold.

In the first round, Yogeshwar overpowered North Korea’s Ju Song Kim 8-1 before defeating Xuan Dinh Nguyen of Vietnam by technical superiority in the quarter-finals. The Indian had opened up a huge 12-2 lead over his Vietnamese opponent.

In the semi-final, Yogeshwar overcame Seungchul Lee of South Korea 7-2. He thus bagged an Olympic spot as the top two wrestlers is each category are being awarded Olympic quotas.

This is the second quota place that Indian wrestlers have bagged for the Rio Olympics to be held later this year. Narsingh Pancham Yadav had bagged a quota place in the men’s 74kg freestyle division at the World Championships in Las Vegas last year.

Among other Indians in the men’s freestyle competition on Saturday, Rahul Aware (57kg) and Satyawart Kadiyan (97kg) missed out on securing quota places in their respective categories after crashing out in the semi-finals.

Kadian went down fighting 2-3 to Takeshi Yamaguchi of Japan while Satywart was edged out 3-4 by Magomed Musaev of Kyrgyzstan in another keenly fought encounter.

In the women’s section, Sakshi Malik (58kg) and Kiran (75kg) also crashed out of the competition in the semi-final stage.