Sushil Kumar lost the Olympic men’s 66kg freestyle final to Japan’s Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu 1-3 and settled for a silver medal at London Games here Sunday, becoming the first Indian to win medals back-to-back in the Olympics.
ESPN reported after the match that Sushil had lost 6 kilos after a stomach upset caused him dehydration and weight loss. He did look a bit jaded and out of sorts in the final.
Sushil, bronze medallist in Beijing four years ago, edged out Kazakhstan’s Akzhurek Tanatarov 3-1 in a thrilling semi-final, his third fight of the day.
With the win, he bettered his Beijing performance and ensured India its second medal from wrestling in London after Yogeshwar Dutt won the bronze in the 60kg freestyle event Saturday.
India’s other medallists at the London Games are shooters Vijay Kumar (silver) and Gagan Narang (bronze), boxer M.C. Mary Kom (bronze) and badminton star Saina Nehwal (bronze), contributing in the country’s best medal haul at the Olympics.
Tanatarov seemed the likely winner during the third and final period before Sushil fought back through grit and experience.
With the Kazakh leading 3-0, Sushil came up with brilliant moves to leave Tanatarov reeling on the mat. The contest ended with the Indian winning the period 6-3 and his opponent bleeding from the right ear.
Sushil had won the first period 3-0 and Kazakh levelled the fight in the second with the same scoreline.
Earlier, the 2010 World Champion muscled his way into the last four beating Ikhtiyor Navruzov of Uzbekistan 3-1.
The Indian could have wrapped up the fight in period 2 but Navruzov turned the tables on him with six seconds remaining.
Sushil got the measure of his opponent in period 3, winning it 2-0 to seal the contest.
The 29-year-old started the day in a scintillating fashion, dismissing the Beijing gold medallist, Ramazan Sahin, in the opening round.
With input from IANS