Olympic medallist Yogeshwar Dutt will be a part of the 11-member Indian squad in the Asian Olympic qualifiers after the wrestler on Friday trumped Asian Championship gold winner Amit Dhankar in the final of the selection trials held in New Delhi.
The squad – five in freestyle and six in Greco-Roman -- will participate in the March 18-20 event in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan.
In the freestyle 65kg on Friday night, Yogeshwar overcame Dhankar (66kg) 7-2 in the final that was billed as a grudge encounter and saw the attendance of over a 1000 lusty, cheering fans.
In men’s 57kg, Rahul Aware earned a Oly trial ticket beating Sandeep Tomar. In 86kg, Somveer got the better of Gopal Yadav on technical superiority. India has already booked an Olympic berth in 74kg. The selection for six weight categories in the women’s freestyle will be held in Lucknow on Saturday, said a report in New Indian Express.
After the event in Astana, the Indian squad will head to Georgia-Belarus for special training and proceed to Mongolia for the 1st World Qualification tournament from April 20-24. The last Rio qualifier will be held in Istanbul from May 6-8.
At the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium on Friday, London Olympics bronze-medallist Dutt met his fierce opponent Dhankar, who had recently moved the Delhi High Court challenging Wrestling Federation of India’s decision to select Dutt for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games without conducting trials in June 2014.
The bout began on an aggressive note. Dhankar ramped up the temperature and the decibel levels in the stadium by a sudden slap on his opponent. Each time the Asian Championship winner managed to get a hold on to the Olympian’s ankle, Dutt would manage to wriggle out of it and earn his points by twirling Dhankar on his back with great speed and precision.
According to a report in DNA, Dutt led Dhankar 4-2 after the first round. In the final round, Dhankar tried his best to pin Dutt down to level the score and then go for a kill, but the Incheon Asian Games gold medallist went for his famous ankle-clutching hold to beat his opponent 7-2.