'Locksmith' Dutt hones bag of tricks for Asiad gold

Fri Sep 19, 2014 2:29am EDT
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By Amlan Chakraborty

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Touching feet is the traditional Indian way of showing respect to someone but, as his numerous opponents would vouch, if it's on the wrestling mat and the outstretched arms belong to Yogeshwar Dutt, it normally means danger.

The 31-year-old is one of the Indian freestyle wrestlers who have challenged the sport's popular image of being a mindless exhibition of brute force.

"At the top level, it is as much a mental game as physical," the 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist told Reuters in a telephone interview. "You have to take decisions in split seconds and execute them.

"It's more than just a display of brute power."

The leglock Dutt calls "Fitley" is a case in point, earning him the bronze in London Olympics two years ago.

After being locked at 1-1 in the bronze medal contest in London, Dutt grabbed Ri Jong Myong's legs and rolled the helpless North Korean on the mat several times to claim six points, which gave him the match and put him on the podium.

The lock also paid dividends at the recent Glasgow Commonwealth Games in the form of the 65kg freestyle gold and he has no doubts he would need it again at the Incheon Games.

"Well, this is my favorite hold, something I took a fancy to since my early days and worked hard to improve it," he added.   Continued...

India's Yogeshwar Dutt poses with his bronze medal at the podium of the Men's 60Kg Freestyle wrestling at the ExCel venue during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 11, 2012. REUTERS/Grigory Dukor/Files