London: Yogeshwar Dutt showed great stamina, skill and endurance to win bronze in the 60kg freestyle division at the ExCel Arena on Saturday night. Dutt defeated a Puerto Rican, an Iranian and then a Korean in the repechage round to win India’s fifth medal in the London Olympics. Excerpts from an interview:
Q: You really worked hard for this medal.
A: Yes, I have really worked for this. I have trained a lot and my journey for this day started after I finished 9th in Beijing Games (in 2008). If you have to win anything in life, it only comes through struggle.
Q: How did you keep your focus?
A: It’s not easy. There are distractions on the way. In 2009, I had a knee injury that almost killed my career. But injuries can make one more determined. You will see a kneecap when I fight. It tells me that I have set a goal for myself. I have arrived today.
Q: Are you happy with the bronze?
A: No one comes to the Olympics to win a bronze. Like everyone else, I also wanted gold but I was up against good fighters. At least three of them I have previously encountered in world championships and knew they were quality fighters. So I had an idea of what to expect. The bronze is after all an Olympic medal. It is a product of my hard work.