With the untimely pull out of two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar, all eyes will be on London Games bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt as India will be hoping to break a 28-year-long wait for a gold medal in wrestling at the 17th Asian Games that get underway Friday in the South Korean city of Incheon. (Delighted to win CWG gold, focus now on Asian Games: Yogeshwar Dutt tells NDTV)
It is the second consecutive time that Sushil, who won the gold medal in the 2014 Commonwealth Games, has decided to skip the Asian Games -- this time with an eye to the 2016 Rio Olympics. In the absence of Sushil, who also picked up a shoulder injury just before the Games, the onus for winning gold will be on his childhood buddy Yogeshwar, who had also won the gold medal in Glasgow. Kartar Singh was the last Indian to win gold in Asian Games wrestling - in 1986 in Seoul - and now all eyes will be on Yogeshwar, in the freestyle 65 kg category, to end the frustrating wait for a long-overdue gold. Yogeshwar, who had also skipped the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, had won the bronze in the 2006 Doha Asian Games. (Of Golden wrestlers with a silver lining)
India's wrestling squad consists of 18 contestants -- seven freestyle, seven Greco-Roman and four women. A rich haul of medals is expected from the Greco-Roman section, traditionally India's forte in wrestling.