London, Aug 11 (IANS) India’s Yogeshwar Dutt is just a win away from an Olympic medal as he beat Iranian Masoud Esmaeilpoorjouybari 3-1 in Repechage 2 to set up a clash with North Korean Jong Myong Ri in the bronze medal play-off match at the ExCel Arena here Saturday.
A determined Yogeshwar bounced back in style against the Iranian despite losing the first period 3-0. Yogeshwar won the second period 3-2 and was unstoppable in the third period winning it 4-0.
In the first repechage, Yogeshwar won 3-0 against Franklin Gomez Matos of Puerto Rico Matos, a silver medallist in the World Championship. The Indian won the first period 1-0. Yogeshwar earned an advantage in the second period and won it 1-0 as well.
Yogeshwar must thank World Champion Besik Kudukhov of Russia for keeping alive his bronze medal hope.
Yogeshwar’s medal hopes rekindled as he qualified for the repechage round of the men’s 60kg wrestling event after Kudukhov, who had defeated the Indian in the pre-quarterfinal, made it to the title round.
The Russian, bronze medallist at the 2008 Beijing Games, won his quarter-final match 3-1 against Esmaeilpoorjouybari and semi-final 3-0 against Myong Ri to qualify for the final. Kudukhov will face Azerbaijan’s Toghrul Asgarov in the title clash.
Yogeshwar had lost his pre-quarterfinal bout to Kudukhov. The Indian survived just two periods before losing 3-0 to the reigning World Champion, who was also a bronze medallist at the 2008 Beijing Games.
Yogeshwar lost the first period 1-0 and the second 2-0. The Indian’s medal hopes now depend on the Russian.
Yogeshwar qualified for the pre-quarterfinal, beating Bulgarian Anatolie Ilarionovitch Guidea in the first round.
The Indian made a brilliant comeback after losing the first period to win the bout 3-1.
Guidea won the first period 1-0 but Yogeshwar did well in the second period, bagging it 2-0. Yogeshwar completely dominated the third and the final period to win it 5-2.