Olympics bronze medalwinning Indian Wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt feels if not for a tough draw he could have returned home with a gold medal from the justconcluded London Games.
After two failed attempts, lady luck final
ly smiled on Yogeshwar as he won the bronze medal in the 60kg freestyle mens wrestling competition in the London Games.
” I was always confident that I will win a medal in London. I wanted to win gold and was confident also but I got a tough draw.
Its not an excuse but a lot depends on draw,” Yogeshwar told reporters during a felicitation programme organised by the Mittal Champions Trust. ” In the pre- quarter finals I played against the Russian wrestler ( Besik Kudukhov) who won the silver medal. He is a fourtime world champion and a bronze medallist from the Beijing Olympics,” he said.
” After losing to the Russian, I knew I will get one more chance because I was confident that he will reach the final,” the grappler added.
The 29- year- old from village Bhainswal Kalan in district Sonepat in Haryana said the absence of an Olympic medal from his cabinet gave him sleepless nights over the years and he could now atleast afford to relax a bit.
” For the last four years, I used to wake- up with the dream of winning a medal at the Olympics and I am thankful that God has been kind to me this time around. Atleast, I can now enjoy a sound sleep,” Yogeshwar told PTI at his residence with a dazzle in his eyes. The 2010 Commonwealth Games gold medallist was ousted from the Beijing Olympics in the dying moments of his quarterfinal bout against Kenichi Yumoto of Japan and his fears almost came true this time around as he lost to Russias Besik Kudukhov in the prequarterfinal before coming back strongly in the repechage round to clinch a bronze.
” The loss to Kudukhov was very disturbing. I had put a lot of hardwork to reach the Olympics this time and did not want to return empty handed. But I knew the Russian can make it to the finals and I started gearing up for the repechage without wasting much of a time thinking about the loss,” said Yogeshwar as his phone continuously buzzed with the congratulatory calls.
Asked whether he is hoping to get the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award this year after his exploits in London, Yogeshwar said, ” I donalt39t know whether I will get the award or not. If not this year probably next year. But my heart was craving for an Olympic medal which I finally won.” ” I am 29 now, there are still 4 years to go for the next Olympics. If I can mantain my fitness I will definitely go for gold in Rio, but before that my target is 2014 Asian Games,” he said.