Yogeshwar eyes Asiad

'Adding weight was not easy'

Yogeshwar eyes Asiad

The drive and enthusiasm of Indian grapplers have set them apart in the just-concluded Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. In yet another impressive performance, Indian wrestlers lapped up 13 medals for the country and they are far from satiated.

Within a day of their return, they are back to the routine of sweat and toil and nursing dreams of an even better show in the Asian Games. Led by Olympic heroes Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt, the freestyle wrestlers won three gold, three silver and one bronze medals. The women's team added two gold, three silver and one bronze medals to the kitty.

The two stalwarts -- Sushil and Yogeshwar -- are still getting used to their new weight categories but after winning a gold, their second successive in the CWG, they have proved a point to the skeptics, and, more importantly, to themselves. Yogeshwar, for one, believed the gold medal has given him the confidence to beat the best in the world in the 65kg category.

“After the Olympics, the expectations had risen from us. I didn’t compete during the entire 2013 because of knee injury which at one time threatened to end my career.  When I returned, I had to participate in a new weight category (65kg). To add on weight was not easy. It takes a heavy toll on the body. Along with that I had to work on endurance and packing more power. We had to work very hard but winning gold is worth the effort. The way I fought was very satisfying,” Yogeshwar told Deccan Herald.

“I liberally used fitele (leg twisting technique). I have been using it since childhood and holding the leg of the opponent, I can now roll them on both sides. It helps me get lot of points at one go. In a way, you can call it my brahamastra.”

The euphoria, however, has been quickly put behind by Yogeshwar who is now eyeing gold in the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, from September 19. “All the wrestlers have joined the camp. The target is now the Asian Games and we wish to do even better there. The Olympic qualification is the next target.”

The performance of junior wrestlers in the Games had been reassuring and Yogeshwar believes the future of wrestling is brighter than ever. “We were just a bit unlucky that we ended up with three silver. Bajrang and Satyawart could have got gold. Bajrang made a technical error and I intend to work with him to ensure he doesn’t repeat it again.  Amit got gold. All the youngsters fought very well and we can go to the 2016 Olympics with a lot of expectations,” he said.

Yashvir, one of the coaches at Glasgow, said: "We should have converted some silver medals into gold. Rajiv Tomar lost a close bout. Otherwise it was a good performance.We won medals in all the seven categories which is a good sign for future."

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