Yogeshwar Dutt provided a late boost to India’s medal collection in the 30th Olympic Games by claiming a memorable bronze in the men’s freestyle 60kg category, thus becoming the second Indian to achieve the feat in the country’s Games history.

The 29-year-old Yogeshwar produced a heroic show on the wrestling mat as he worked his way through three rounds of repechage to snatch the bronze medal and take India’s tally to a record five medals — one silver and four bronze — at the Excel Arena.

Spurred on by vociferous Indian spectators who kept chanting ‘India, India’, Yogeshwar pulled off a spectacular 3-1 victory over North Korea’s Ri Jong Myong to bring about his moment of glory in a thrilling bout, which saw the Indian concede the first round.

But Yogeshwar, a gold medal winner in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, pulled things back by clinching the second round, much to the delight of the Indian spectators and officials who watched the proceedings with bated breath.

In the third and final round, Yogeshwar pulled off a stunning ‘fitele’, a term used by wrestlers when they twirl their opponent on their back a few times with great speed, to completely leave the Korean in a daze.

With Yogeshwar’s bronze, India have so far achieved their best medal tally in the history of the Olympic Games, bettering the one gold and two bronze medals they bagged in the Beijing Games four years ago.

Shooter Vijay Kumar has fetched a silver, while Saina Nehwal, Gagan Narang and five-time world champion boxer M C Mary Kom won bronze for the country in the ongoing edition.

India will now hope to add one more medal to its kitty tomorrow, the last day of competitions, when star wrestler Sushil Kumar, who won a bronze in Beijing, takes part in the men’s 66 kg category.

(This article was published on August 12, 2012)
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