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Yogeshwar Dutt misses Repechage after getting knocked out in his Rio opener

Tanuj Kar
ANALYST
21 Aug 2016, 17:17 IST
Yogeshwar Dutt had a tricky draw in the 65 kg category of Men’s Freestyle wrestling at Rio 2016 

India’s only realistic medal prospect remaining at the Rio Olympics 2016, wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt has been knocked out in his campaign opener by Mongolia's Mandakhnaran Ganzorig in the Qualification round of Men's 65 kg Freestyle category. The holder of twin Commonwealth gold medals was denied a single point as he went down 0-3 on the closing day of the Games of the XXXI Olympiad in Rio.

As the final day proceedings got underway at the centre mat of Carioca Arena 2 in Rio de Janeiro, Dutt came out to fight from the red corner while in blue, the Mongolian Ganzorig, heavily strapped around his legs was trying to add an Olympic medal to his two world championship bronzes.

Taking on Ganzorig, three years his junior, the London 2012 bronze medallist was handed a couple of passivity warnings by the referee early on in the first period. With the completion of one minute, Yogi tried to get off the mark with a takedown initiated at his opponent’s knees, but found his rival too quick for his attacking tactics.

Also Read: Remembering Yogeshwar Dutt's brilliant final act in London 2012 that brought a billion people to their feet 

As the 30-second penalty window ended for Yogeshwar, Ganzorig picked up one point which was all the difference between the two contenders at the halfway interval.

In the second period, Dutt looked far more intent and grabbed the Mongolian from below, twice in quick succession, but failed to effect a scoring takedown. Successfully reversing a sudden lunge by the Indian in the 4th minute, Ganzorig stretched his lead to three points, leaving Yogeshwar with a mountain to climb in the dying seconds if he were to progress to the Round of 16.

Yogeshwar didn’t give up till the very end, but couldn’t open his account either. Half a minute left on the clock, the Sonipat wrestler went underneath Mandakhnaran’s defence to drag him by the legs, only to see his effort foiled by a resilient Ganzorig. Not converting any of his takedown attempts kept Yogeshwar 0-3 behind the Mongolian till the final hooter was blown.

With his defeat, the only possibility of a third medal for India at the Olympics was hanging on Ganzorig’s qualification for the finals, which would have enabled Yogi to contest at the Repechage Rounds. However, the World No. 2 from Russia, Soslan Ramonov proved a challenge too big for Mandakhnaran to overcome in the quarter-finals, thereby drawing an unwelcome conclusion to Yogeshwar’s glittering Olympic chapter.

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