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Yogeshwar eyes world c’ships gold, berth in Rio

Yogeshwar eyes world c’ships gold, berth in Rio
‘Next year my main target will be the World Wrestling Championships. I have got medals in all, important tournaments except World Championships, so I would like to win a medal there and preferably a gold,’ Yogeshwar said.

‘World Championships will be the platform to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics and if I win a medal there that would automatically guarantee a berth in the Olympic Games,’ he added.

To be held in Las Vegas in September next year, the World Wrestling Championships will serve as the first qualifying event for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In this event, the largest number of athletes will earn a spot in the Olympics.

Yogeshwar has won gold in all three tournaments -- International wrestling tournament in Sassari city, Italy, Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and Asiad in Incheon -- after moving to a higher weight category of 65kg freestyle. He said the new weight division has suited him well. ‘I have performed very well in this weight category. I am at a level now where I can say that I am among the best wrestlers in world in this division. I am at a level where I can win an Olympic gold.

‘This category is suiting me well. In Italy, I defeated the world champion, while in CWG none of my bouts lasted more than two minutes. In Asian Games also I did well,’ said Yogeshwar, adding, ‘I am happy to have won a gold for my country after 28 years. It was a long wait.’

The London Olympic bronze medallist admitted that he had faced some tough competition at the Asian Games. ‘The bouts in Asian Games were very difficult. The grapplers of the Asian region are of the level of World and Olympics. I faced tough competition from North Korea, China and Tajikistan. Against the Chinese grappler in the semifinal round, the bout was a very closely-fought one,’ explained Yogeshwar.
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