“Abhi nahin to kabhi nahin (it is now or never)!”
Now I present our 12th Olympian – wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt!! Do read my first post on Olympic Heroes of India.
Yogeshwar won bronze medal at London Olympics in Men’s 60kg freestyle category wrestling. He is only the third Indian wrestler after Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav and Sushil Kumar to win an Olympic medal. Jadhav had won Bronze medal in 1952 Helsinki. Sushil Kumar had won bronze in 2008 Beijing Games and silver in 2012 London Games.
As It Happened
August 11, 2012 London
Yogeshwar Dutt defeated Masoud Esmaeilpoorjouybari of Iran 3-1 in the second repechage round to book a place in the Bronze medal bout. In the Bronze medal match, Yogeshwar put up a spirited performance despite losing the first period 1-0. Yogeshwar, who was struggling to barely open his right eye, came back strongly in the second period winning it 1-0. Realizing that Bronze medal was almost in reach, there was no stopping for Yogeshwar in the third and the final period that he won 6-0. Dutt showed one of his best performances against North Korean to win the Bronze medal at the ExCel Arena, which was packed with Indian supporters. What a temperament and dedication to win this match!
Life of The Champion
Born in Haryana, Dutt started wrestling at the young age of 8 years. Balraj Pehlwan was his source of inspiration. Sushil kumar multiple Olympics medal winner is close friend of Yogeshwar Dutt. They are friends since childhood.
At Beijing Olympics in 2008, despite being so close to the medal Dutt could not win a medal. That was disappointing and frustrating. He did go through a lot of struggle. He spent time in South Africa nursing a critical ligament injury. Then he had a back injury. People started writing him off. This ironed will man kept going and created a history at the London Olympics winning a medal for India!
His Rio Olympics match is on 21 August 2016.
Thus concludes my series on our individual Olympic champions till date.