Wrestler Sushil grabs Olympic bronze(Lead)

August 20th, 2008 - 5:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 20 (IANS) Fifty six years after wrestler Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav gave India its first ever individual Olympic medal, Sushil Kumar won an unexpected bronze from the same discipline defeating Leonid Spiridonov of Kazakhstan in the freestyle (66 kg) event here Wednesday.This is the second medal for India at the Beijing Olympics after shooter Abhinav Bindra claimed the first ever individual Olympic gold last week.

Twenty-five-year old Sushil, who went down in the opening round after getting a bye in the qualification, got through to the repechage as his conqueror Ukrainian Andriy Stadnik reached the final. All those who lose to the ultimate finalists take part in the Repechage, which decides the two bronze medallists.

In the Repechage first round, Sushil beat Doug Schwab of US before getting the better of Belarussian Albert Batyrov in the second round to qualify for the bronze medal match.

Sushil, finished 14th in the Athens Olympics in the 60 kg category, is the only Indian wrestler to have qualified for the Beijing event from the world championship in Azerbaijan in September. He finished seventh there and went on to win a bronze in the Asian Championship in Korea.

In the morning, Sushil had lost to Stadnik on points after being pegged down 3-8 on technical points.

Jadhav got the bronze in the Freestyle Bantamweight class in Helsinki, 1952.

This is the first time after 1952 that India have won two medals in a particular edition of the Olympics.

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