Wrestlers start their campaign tomorrow

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Beijing, Aug 18 (UNI) Grappler Yogeshwar Dutt will start his campaign in the Olympic Wrestling competition when he takes on Baurzhan Orazgaliyev of Kazakhstan in the 60kg free style event here tomorrow.

The understated three-member wrestling squad is hoping to repeat what happened 56 years ago when this discipline gave India its first individual medal at the Helsinki Olympics.

In that Games, K D Yadav created history when he won a bronze.

Though India is fielding half the number that it sent to Athens (three) --Yogeshwar Dutt (60kg), Sushil Kumar (66kg) and Rajiv Tomar (120kg) -- the officials are hopeful that one of them will emulate Yadav's feat.

The expectations are on Sushil and Yogeshwar that they can win a medal in their category since they have defeated 50 per cent of the wrestlers who will be competing in their category in Beijing.

National coach P R Sondhi too was optimistic about Yogeshwar and Sushil's chances in the quadrennial event.

''Sushil and Yogeshwar are in great form. You never know, they can land up with a medal They have defeated many top international wrestlers in the competitions before the Olympics,'' he said.

Sushil, who is competiting in the 66kg category after trying his luck in 60kg at Athens, is optimistic about his chances,''Till now I have beaten eight wrestlers who will be participating in Beijing in my category, but I don't know about others.'' The three wrestlers along with Sondhi and a Belarussian coach Vladimir trained in Cuba and before that had a two-week training stint in Belarus before coming here.


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