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Lionmen land golden double

other Updated: Oct 10, 2010 01:11 IST
Siddhanth Aney
Siddhanth Aney
Hindustan Times
wrestling

Narsingh, or Lionman, Yadav and comeback hero Yogeshwar Dutt contributed to India's golden wrestling run on Saturday.

With a few days to go, India have already bagged 15 medals at the KG Jadhav arena, including 9 gold. Though the team are confident of a clean sweep of medals, Anil Mann lost out in the opening round in the 96 kg class.

For Narsingh and Yogeshwar though, victory was sweet. In the 60 kg category, Dutt reached the final with ease, and when his bout came up, Rahul Gandhi was among those in the crowd cheering him on.

In his first competition since suffering career-threatening knee injuries a year ago, Dutt's win is the stuff dreams are mode of.

Rehabilitation after his surgeries put him out of training for over six months, and when he came back, the fear of a repeat made his overly cautious. If his performance here is anything to go by, Dutt has well and truly conquered his demons.

The two-time Olympic quarterfinalist and former Asian champion beat Canada’s James Mancini in the final, 3-1, 6-1.
Dutt, a contemporary of Sushil Kumar, is considered a technically gifted wrestler, and among the fittest in the Indian team. "I used my fitness to tire Mancini out in the first round, after that it was easy," Dutt said after his win.

"This is my first big event since the injury, and I am happy to have made a triumphant return. I have to thank everyone who has been involved in my rehab, and for the hundreds of people who have come from Sonepat to cheer me on." At the venue, there were few empty seats.

After he won gold at the Senior Asian Wrestling Championships in May this year, Narsingh had told HT, "After beating such strong competition, especially those from Iran, I promise you I will win gold at this venue in October."

He almost missed out, because he lost in the trials to Sumit, and was not slated to fight here at all.

However, fate has a way of catching up with you. The lad, who trains and lives in Mumbai, made it to the team after Sumit tested positive for doping. And the rest, as they say, is history.