| Zeenews Sports Bureau
London: Wrestler Sushil Kumar created history by becoming the first Indian to win back-to-back Olympic medals when he assured himself a silver by storming into the final of the men's freestyle 66 category in a dramatic fashion at the Excel arena here on Sunday.
The Indian will now meet Japanese army man Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu in the final. The final bout starts at 6:35 pm (IST).
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The 29-year-old Indian demolished Akhzurek Tanatrov of Kazakhstan 3-1 in an engrossing semi-final contest to achieve the memorable feat and provide the late spark to India's Olympic campaign.
With Sushil's heroics on the mat, India have now put themselves on course for the coveted gold medal which had eluded them so far.
Apart from Sushil's assured silver, India have so far bagged one silver and four bronze medals in the 30th edition of the Games, surpassing the one gold and two bronze medals they won in Beijing four years ago.
Backed by vociferous Indian spectators, Sushil wrapped up the first period 3-0 in the high-voltage semi-final clash against Tanatrov but lost the second by an identical score.
In the crucial third round, the Indian was lagging 0-3 behind but he showed his class and strength to fightback and level the score after pegging him down by his legs with the vociferous Indian contingent egging him on.
With 34 seconds left, the Indian scored two more points to move to 5-3 and then, with just seconds left in the contest, he sealed his victory by lifting his rival on to his shoulders and throwing him down on the mat to win the third period 6-3 to enter the finals.
As it happened
Period 3: Sushil behind by 3 points and a Spectacular comeback by the Indian and he has won this preiod and bout 6-3.
Period 2: Sushil lagging behind 3-0 and he has lost this period. So again, the outcome of this bout depends on the third period.
Period 1: Sushil cruising ahead 3-0 and he has won the first period.
The Indian will now meet Japanese army man Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu in the final. Tatsuhiro prevailed over two-time European Champion J Hasanov of Azerbeijan in the other semi-final.
With PTI inputs
First Published: Sunday, August 12, 2012, 14:38