London Olympics: Sushil Kumar enters final, creates history

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Sushil Kumar
London, Aug 12: Wrestler Sushil Kumar ensured that India will get either its first gold medal or the second silver at the London Olympics today when he defeated Kazakhstan's Akzhurek Tanatarov 6-3 in the semi-final of the men's 66kg freestyle category at the London Olympics.

The Indian champion won 3 points in the first period but his opponent restored parity in the next. A stunning comeback in the third saw Sushil storm into the final. He managed only a bronze at the 2008 Beijing Games but now the 29-year-old has secured a higher position on the podium.

In the final that is scheduled to start at 6.30 pm, Sushil will face Japan's Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu. The latter got the better of Azerbeijan's J Hasanov in the other semi-final.

Sushil must be commended for the way in which he trumped three strong grapplers one after another within a matter of just two hours. Just after 1 pm, he first upset the defending champion Turkey's Ramazan Sahin 3-1 in his opening bout.

An hour or so later, Sushil scored a 6-3 win over Ikhtiyor Navruzov of Uzbekistan in the quarterfinal. Barely had the celebrations over that victory died down when India's flag-bearer at the Olympics opening ceremony created history by reaching the final.

He has become the only Indian athlete to win two Olympic medals, that too at successive Games. From 6.30 pm onwards, the entire nation will wait with bated breath to see if Sushil can emulate ace shooter Abhinav Bindra who won our first ever individual gold four years ago.

The Indian contingent has already bagged 5 medals at this Olympics. On Aug 3, Vijay Kumar grabbed a silver in the 25 m Rapid Fire Pistol event. Earlier, his teammate Gagan Narang held his nerve in the 10 m Air Rifle event to win the country's first bronze at London.

Then badminton icon Saina Nehwal secured a bronze in the women's singles, before flyweight boxer MC Mary Kom bagged another in the 51kg category.

Yesterday, Yogeshwar Dutt added to India's record medal haul when he defeated North Korea's Ri Jong Myong in the men's freestyle wrestling (60kg) category.

OneIndia News

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