Sushil Kumar (India) Vs Leonid Spiridonov (Kazakhstan)
Indian wrestler Sushil Kumar weaved magic on Wednesday 20th August, 2008, winning the bronze medal in the men's 66kg freestyle wrestling event at the Beijing Olympics.
He defeated Spiridonov of Kazakhstan 3-1 in the men's 66kg freestyle repechage round to grab the bronze. Incidentally, Kumar lost in the first round to the finalist, Andriy Stadnik, but got a chance to fight for the bronze by entering the repechage round.
Kumar then went on to win three bouts against Doug Schwab (USA), Albert Batyrov (Belarus) and Spiridonov (Kazakhstan) to grab the bronze.
In the other repechage group, Georgia's Otar Tushishvili got the better of Cuba's Geandry Garzon to grab the second bronze medal.
The victory marks the third major win in Kumar's wrestling career, which also includes the 2007 world championships and European championship crown this year in Finland.
Incidentally, in the 2006 Doha Asian Games also, Sushil had beaten Spiridonov to win the bronze.
The Beijing win is historic as Sushil Kumar has become the second Indian wrestler after K.D. Jadhav to win a medal in Olympic Games. Like Sushil Kumar, Jadhav won a bronze in the 1952 Helsinki Games.
"Probably you may say that there was no expectation from the people back home and the media too. But me and my coach (Satpal) always knew I had a fair chance of winning a medal and I'm happy I could achieve that," Kumar told reporters following his win.