With the 2015 National Games just around the corner, Sports Rediscovered brings a recap of how Indian wrestlers fared in 2014.
Yogeshwar Dutt scripted history in Incheon by ending a 28-year long wait for a Gold Medal in Wrestling at the Asian Games. While the graph has otherwise gone down a little from the previous year, Yogeshwar’s medal and the emergence of new names highlights India’s performance in Wrestling in 2014.
Freestyle Indian Wrestlers Bring Home Laurels
It was a remarkable year for freestyle wrestlers. Beginning with the Commonwealth Games, the wrestlers continued their winning form into the Asian Games. The men harvested a maximum number of seven medals at the Commonwealth Games and bagged three medals at the Asian Games. Women also had their share of glory in freestyle events with 6 medals in the Commonwealth and two at the Asian Games.
Yogeshwar Dutt Scripts History
India’s second biggest name in wrestling at the moment, Yogeshwar Dutt was larger than life in 2014. He finally ended India’s 28 year wait for a Gold at the Asian Games with an inspired performance. He breezed past every other wrestler that stood in his way. In the semi-finals he beat North Korea’s Kang Jin-Hyok 7-4. Minutes later, he won his semi-final by fall against Yeerlanbieke Katai of China. In the final, Yogeshwar beat Tajiki grappler Zalimkhan Yusupov 1-0.
He also won the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Gold medal by beating Canada’s Jevon Balfour 10-0 in the finals. His trademark fitele (Leg Twisting) technique was also put on display in the quarter-final against Scottish wrestler Gareth Jones. Watching Dutt at the best of his capabilities made 2014 complete and has ensured a promising outing for Indian wrestling at the Rio Olympics in 2016.