21/08/2016 10:43 AM IST | Updated 21/08/2016 12:08 PM IST

Rio Olympics 2016: Yogeshwar Dutt, India's Hope For A Third Medal, To Fight Today

Sushil Kumar backs him to win gold.

Suhaib Salem / Reuters
Yogeshwar Dutt celebrates his victory at the London Olympic Games in 2012. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem

Wrestler Yogeshwar Dutt, who is scheduled to fight today in Rio at 5 pm (IST), is India's hope of getting a third medal in the 2016 Olympic Games. The nation is waiting with bated breath as Dutt goes on to fight Ganzorigiin Mandakhnaran of Mongolia in the 65 kg freestyle wrestling category.

Dutt's fellow wrestler and two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar wished him luck and hoped he would win gold. "We have been friends since childhood. All my best wishes are with Yogeshwar. I hope he wins the gold medal. The entire nation is standing behind him," Kumar told ANI.

Kumar also praised P.V. Sindhu, Sakshi Malik and Dipa Karmakar who have made India proud in Rio. After badminton player Sindhu's silver and Malik's bronze in wrestling, India's final hope for a third medal is in Dutt.

The 33-year-old, who won bronze at the London Olympics 2012, is recovering from a series of injuries and surgeries over the last few months. According to The Indian Express, he is likely to face Russia's Soslan Ramonov, who won gold and bronze in world titles in 2014 and 2015 respectively, in the quarter-finals. If Dutt goes past him, Uzbek's Ikhtoyor Navruzov, who is the reigning silver medallist, could meet in semi-finals.

Apart from Sakshi Malik, India's wrestlers have been struggling in these Olympics. Vinesh Phogat injured her knee during the women's freestyle 48 kg quarterfinals against China's Sun Yanan. Babita Kumari was knocked out in her opening women's 53 kg category wrestling bout against Maria Prevolaraki of Greece.

Among the men, Sandeep Tomar lost to two-time World Champion, Victor Lebedev, of Russia in the 57 kg category, while Narsingh Yadav was slapped a four-year ban by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) hours before his bout.

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