Remember the swollen, almost shut right eye, and the out-of-the-blue ankle lace (phittle) roll that earned Yogeshwar Dutt six quick points and the bronze medal at the London Olympics.
The roll, which was the last throw of the dice by Yogeshwar in his 60kg wrestling freestyle bronze-medal match against Ri Jong Myong of North Korea has now entered Indian Olympic folklore—people comparing it to, among various things, an enchanting dance form.
Let’s revisit the bout which, in essence, defines Dutt the wrestler as well.
In the bout, he lost the opening period, then fought like his life depended on it in the second to take the bout to the decider. At the break, he was itching to get back to the middle. It almost seemed like he knew the outcome of the bout, he knew his destiny.
The desire was there in his eyes and the technique — well, the phittle, or any technique for that matter, always comes out perfectly in crunch bouts when Dutt pulls it out of his quiver.
The rest is history. Enjoy the video and let’s wait for him to compete later on Sunday, and try and do a repeat of London in Rio - in a category which has three world champions and the defending Olympic champion in the fray.
Or rather, let’s hope the wrestler becomes an alchemist: turning the bronze to silver or gold.
(Yogeshwar Dutt will take on Mongolia’s Ganzorigiin Mandakhnaran in the men’s freestyle wrestling 65kg qualification round at 5PM IST)