| Zeenews Sports Bureau
London: Wrestler Sushil Kumar on Sunday created history by becoming the first Indian to win back-to-back Olympic medals but the coveted gold medal eluded him as he lost the men's freestyle 66 kg category final to his Japanese opponent rather tamely at the ExCel Arena.
The 29-year-old Sushil found the Japanese Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu, a tough opponent as he carved out a 3-1 victory to shatter the his hopes of winning a gold medal.
With the addition of Sushil's silver medal, India completed their engagements in the 30th edition of the Olympics with a record haul of six medals -- two silver and four bronze -- but the gold medal could not be won by any one.
In Beijing, India had won one gold and two bronze medals.
Sushil, who was cheered by the flag-waving Indian spectators, was down with dehydration when he took the mat for the final and that had a bearing on his performance.
"I had a stomach problem just after the semi-final, because of the dehydration. I lost weight and was feeling a little weak. But we have got a silver medal and we will try for gold medal in the next Olympics," Sushil said after the medal ceremony.
"I had said about 15 days ago that we will do well. It was a question of what will be the colour of medals. I am happy that Yogeshwar won a bronze and our performance will keep improving," he said.
In the final, Sushil found the going tough against the Japanese who just did not allow the Indian to grip him at all.
Sushil tried desperately to get a breakthrough but without much luck as the Japanese wrestled intelligently. The Japanese won the first round 1-0 and took the second round 3-1 during which he picked up Sushil on his shoulder and brought him down, effectively ending the Indian's chance.
"It was bronze in Beijing, and now it's a silver. So we are gradually going up and may be in the next Olympics, I will be able to win the gold medal," Sushil said.
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The 29-year-old, however, created history by becoming the first Indian to win back-to-back Olympic medals following his 2008 Beijing effort of bronze medal with a silver at 2012 London Games.
He ended India’s campaign at the Summer Games on a bright note by securing a sixth medal on the final day.
Period 2: Sushil is lagging behind 0-3. The Indian has lost this period and the bout.
Period 1: Yonemitsu in the lead 1-0. Sushil has lost the first period 0-1.
The bout has started.
Wrestler Sushil Kumar on Sunday 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.
The Indian will now meet Japanese army man Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu in the final.
26-year-old Yonemitsu was the silver medallist at 2011 World Wrestling Championships and is the reigning Asian Games gold medallist.
The final bout starts at 6:35 pm (IST).
With PTI inputs
First Published: Sunday, August 12, 2012, 17:34