Otarsultanov wins gold in 55kg freestyle wrestling
Dzhamal Otarsultanov rewarded the Russian selectors with an Olympic gold medal when he took the 55kg men's freestyle wrestling title at London's Excel Arena on Friday.india Updated: Aug 11, 2012 01:34 IST
Dzhamal Otarsultanov rewarded the Russian selectors with an Olympic gold medal when he took the 55kg men's freestyle wrestling title at London's Excel Arena on Friday.
Otarsultanov, a three-time European champion, was picked ahead of Viktor Lebedev after defeating the two-time world champion and made good on that form with victory in the Olympic final over Georgia's Vladimer Khinchegashvili.
Khinchegashvili, runner-up to Otarsultanov at last year's European Championships in Dortmund and a double world junior champion, pushed the Russian hard with coaches of both wrestlers challenging the referee's award of points.
But the 25-year-old Otarsultanov ultimately won 3-1.
Khinchegashvili overcame a tough semi-final contest with Japan's Shinichi Yumoto, one of the bronze medallists along with North Korea's Yang Kyong-Il.
The Japanese rolled the Georgian several times in the first period and Khinchegashvili needed treatment for what appeared to be an ankle injury.
But he hit back with a third period takedown to book his place in the final.
Khinchegashvili's victory gave India's Amit Kumar, his beaten opponent in the last eight, a chance to fight for a bronze medal through the repechage.
But after both periods of his bout with Bulgaria's Radoslav Velikov -- runner-up at last year's world championships -- ended scoreless, Kumar lost on a couple of extra-time leg-grabs.