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Narsingh makes his last chance count

Bbecomes fifth indian wrestler to book olympic berth

When Indian wrestling’s posterboy Sushil Kumar finally made the cut for Olympics,his first thought was it would be great if compatriot Narsingh Yadav too qualified. Friday saw Sushil’s wish come true as the 24-year-old Narsingh won three rounds in a day to reach the final of the World OG qualifying tournament,currently underway in Helsinki,Finland. This was his chance to qualify and Narsingh made it count,becoming the fifth Indian wrestler to book a ticket to the 2012 London Games.

Always rated highly by his coaches,the luck of the draw had been the bane of the 74 kg freestyle wrestler,who had exited each of the first three qualifiers in the tournaments’ early phase. In the day’s opening bout,Narsingh trounced Germany’s Andriy Shyyka 12-3 and then outclassed Szabolcs Laszlo of Romania 10-2 to advance to the semi-finals. In a nervy last four clash,he once again stamped his authority by beating Batuhan Demircin of Turkey 7-2 to reach the final and qualify on Friday.

For the last three years,Narsingh Yadav has grown in stature. From winning the Asian Championship in New Delhi to claiming the 74kg gold at the Commonwealth Games,the 24-year-old quickly became a regular international. In fact,his rise is one of the main reasons the 2009 World Championships bronze medallist Ramesh Kumar has been forced to sit on the sidelines for so long. For the last one year,though,the podium finishes he was so used to getting had dried up.

“Narsingh was one of the probables who we thought will win the quota. It took some time because the draw was not going his way,but today he has made everyone associated with him proud,” Yashveer,part of the coaching staff with the Indian team,said. “In China his draw was very tough,as it was in the previous tournaments. But today it worked in our favour,” he added.

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First published on: 05-05-2012 at 12:34:27 am
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