Only three of the six London Olympics medallists will compete in the Rio Games and seasoned wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt is one of the three who will strive to better the colour of the medal this time.
In the last stretch of his preparations for the mega event, Yogeshwar, flashing the Rio Olympics gold medal as his Whatsapp profile picture, cannot think beyond his ambition of acquiring the coveted yellow metal. If there is a ‘Who wants it more?’ race, the 33-year-old may win it hands down.
“I want to win the Olympic gold medal. That is my ultimate dream and biggest motivation as I approach the Rio Games,” Yogeshwar told Sportstar on Wednesday in an interview.
In his quest for the gold, Yogeshwar, who has recovered from a painful left knee, feels his injury may be a good omen ahead of the Olympics. “It is true that every time I came out of an injury, I won something big – be it the 2006 Asian Games bronze medal or the 2010 Commonwealth Games gold or the 2012 Asian championship gold and Olympic medal or the 2014 Commonwealth Games and Asian Games gold medals.
“If God has given me injuries, then he has rewarded me with big medals as well. I have fought with more determination and proved myself. This time too, I am coming out of an injury prior to the Olympics.”
Looking fitter than ever in the selfie he took with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a recent send-off ceremony, Yogeshwar said, “I took care of myself in order to give myself the best chance in Rio. I did a lot of training, changed my diet and took care to maintain my power and stamina. I did all sorts of training, including cross country, gym sessions apart from the mat sessions, to keep myself in best shape prior to the Olympics.”
The London Olympics bronze medallist, who will compete in 65kg freestyle category, said he was aware of the expectation of his fellow countrymen and knew how to handle it.
“The pressure of expectation is always there but one has to learn to deal with it. I take it very positively, I feel good about it that so many people from my country want me to do well. It gives me a lot of enthusiasm and spurs me to do well. It is important how you take pressure. When you take it with a positive frame of mind, it rewards you,” said Yogeshwar, currently training at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Centre, Sonepat.
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