Beijing, Aug 19: India's hope of a medal in Olympic wrestling suffered a rude jolt when their main star Yogeshwar Dutt crashed out of contention after losing to Japan's Kenichi Yumoto 3-6 in the quarterfinals of the 60 kg free style event here today.
For once, the Indian cannot complain of a tough draw as his coach PR Sondhi put it. Yogeshwar had got the best of the pool, he got a bye to start with. The 26-year-old Indian won his pre-quarterfinal round against Baurzhan Orazgaliyev of Kazakhstan rather easily 8-3. Asian champion Dutt was too fast and agile for his 23-year-old rival whose best has been third place at the 2006 Asian Championship. However, it was Baurzhan who won the first round 2-0 but Dutt came back strongly to win the next 3-0 to make it 1-1 and then in the third round virtually outclassed his rival to emerge winner.
The Indian sorted out his rival in the second round and then wrestled well as Baurzhan tried unsuccessfully to wriggle out from Dutt's stranglehold.
Winner of this year's Asian Championship, Dutt started as the favourite in the quarterfinals against Yumota, whom he had beaten earlier this year at the Asian Championship.
The Indian started on a wining note, scoring a quick point but then he just went astray and lost the plot. The 24-year-old Japanese kept his nerve and having known his rival's style, he bidded his time.
Dutt scored another point and then in a bid to garner two more points, he went for a throw and that was where he miscalculated as Yumoto managed to avoid the contact and earned two points which changed the complexion of the bout.
Yumoto took two more points in this round to take his tally to 4-2 and in the third round wrestled cautiously as the desperate Indian went flat out to pin down his rival.
Dutt was left with no alternative but to try and nail his rival for an outright win but Yumoto turned out to be a more thinking grappler as he avoided the trap and much contact in the decider and emerged as 2-1 winner in this round also and with total tally of 6-3 moved into the semifinal.
''We lost the bout which we should have won,'' Sondhi told UNI.
''It was an easy draw for Dutt he could not have asked for better draw in the Olympics.'' According to the coach, though Dutt wrestled well, he was not very calculated.
''He should have avoided the throw tactics when he was leading with one point in the second round.'' ''Dutt went on the attack when he should have been moving back, his unsuccessful throw cost him not only the two points, but the bout,'' he added.
Sondhi was of the view that this was the bout Dutt should not have lost,''because I don't think Yumoto was a very formidable opponent. It was our wrestler who squandered away the advantage despite fighting well.'' ''Look, Yumoto lost to his Ukraine rival Vasyl Fedoryshyn 3-7 in the semifinals, so if Dutt had won his bout we had a very strong chances of winning a medal,'' he added.