| London: Indian grapplers will join the Olympic action from Thursday hoping to provide the late sparks to the contingent`s campaign which has so far not really lived up to expectation with the flop show of many of the serious medal contenders.
The wrestlers had won a bronze medal in the Beijing Olympics Games through Sushil Kumar and will be keen to improve upon their tally when the freestyle competitions get underway at the ExCel Arena.
All eyes will be on Sushil again as he spearheads the Indian challenge in the 66kg category, but with stiff competition expected from other wrestlers, it remains to be seen whether he can repeat his Beijing feat, and thus become the first Indian to win back-to-back Olympic medals.
India has fielded a record five wrestlers for the Olympics and Yogeshwar Dutt (60kg) is also being talked about as a medal prospect. Narsingh Pancham Yadav (74kg), Amit Kumar Dahiya (74kg) and Geeta Phogat (55kg) are the other grapplers in the fray.
Yogeswhar narrowly missed out reaching the semi-finals in the Beijing Games and is determined to make amends here. Going by his performance in the lead-up to the mega-event, he is quite capable of springing a surprise.
"If I would have won a medal in the Beijing, probably I would not have been competing in the London Games," said Yogeshwar, who suffered a career-threatening knee injury just after the 2008 edition.
"The only inspiration for me to make a comeback from the injury was to be able to contest in the London Olympics and bring laurels to my country," said the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold-medallist," he had said.
First Published: Wednesday, August 08, 2012, 16:30