Olympic wrestling: Sushil assures 6th medal for India (Fourth Lead)

August 12th, 2012 - 6:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Sushil Kumar London, Aug 12 (IANS) Sushil Kumar assured India of a sixth medal at the London Olympics and his second successive at the Games by powering into the men’s 66kg freestyle wrestling final at the ExCel Arena here Sunday.

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. He faces Japanese Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu in the gold medal play-off later Sunday.

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.

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