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No time for celebration with Asiad ahead: Yogeshwar Dutt

Wrestler tells mid-day the wrestling contingent at Glasgow are already looking ahead to Incheon

With India having won 13 medals on the wrestling mat at the ongoing Commonwealth Games, one would expect the nation’s grapplers to be painting the town red in Glasgow.

Yogeshwar Dutt
India's Yogeshwar Dutt after winning gold in the 65kg wrestling final in Glasgow on Thursday

Instead, the ever-so-hardworking wrestlers are already looking ahead to competing at the Incheon Asian Games (September 19 to October 4).

Yogeshwar Dutt
Yogeshwar Dutt with his gold. Pic/PTI.

“We haven’t had any special celebrations here. We haven’t gone out to a hotel or anything to celebrate. The only happiness for us is that we have won a medal for our country. All of us are now thinking only about the upcoming Asian Games. Our training camp for the Asiad will commence back home from August 3,” Yogeshwar Dutt, who won the gold medal in the 65kg category, told mid-day from Glasgow yesterday.

Weight and watch
Having moved up from the 60kg weight class only seven months ago, London Olympics bronze medal-winner Dutt has made an effortless switch to the 65kg event here — he won all four of his bouts in Glasgow by technical superiority (with a 10-point differential over his opponent). However, his final victory over Canada’s Jevon Balfour within just two minutes came as a surprise even to him.

“Every competition is tough and so is every opponent. But I didn’t think it (the final) would be this easy. All I had in mind (before the final) was that I needed to do well. My mind was only on my wrestling. I did not want to concede any points and wanted to be strong defensively. This was my motto in every bout in Glasgow.

Technical supremacy
“I’m very happy that I won every bout with a technical fall and I didn’t let any match go longer than a few minutes,” he added. However, the 31-year-old emphasised on the months of back-breaking work put in due to the weight category shift.

“A lot of people have moved from 60kg to 65kg since the weight classes were rejigged. Moving into a different weight class is always difficult. Sushil (Kumar) and I both have moved up into different weight categories, so to increase our strength, we had to tweak our diet plans and had to undergo extensive weight training too.

“Now, I am completely comfortable in the 65kg category, but I still need more practice. There’s the satisfaction that I didn’t take too much time adjusting to the new weight class. Now, I hope to do well in Asian Games in Korea too,” he signed off.

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