India's Yogeshawar Dutt clinched a bronze in the Olympic Games after beating North Korea's Jong Myong Ri 3-1 in the 60kg freestyle play-off for the medal at the ExCel arena here on Saturday.
Yogeshwar fought back strongly in the repechage rounds to notch up three successive victories in the space of less than an hour to provide India its fifth medal at the London Games and the first on the mat.
The 29-year-old from Sonepat in Haryana, who had missed a medal four years ago at the Beijing Olympics, showed excellent technique and fighting spirit to bring off three memorable wins on the trot for the bronze.
In the repechage rounds, in which he had to beat three opponents, Yogeshwar started off with a win over World Championship runner-up Franklin Gomez Matos of Puerto Rico and followed it with another brilliant victory over Iran's Masoud Esmaeilpoorjouybari to be one win away from a medal.
The two victories that came within the space of 20 minutes got Yogeshwar's adrenaline going and he brought off another stupendous come from behind victory over his North Korean rival to fetch the bronze.
In the all-important medal round, Yogeshwar started on a wrong foot conceding a point to his strong North Korean rival, who seemed to have the upper hand initially.
However, the tide changed drastically in favour of the Indian in the next period in which he took a point to draw level with Myong Ri and leave the stage set for a dramatic finish.
But as things turned out, Yogeshwar was at the height of his prowess in the final period which saw him score a staggering six technical points in a jiffy to seal the issue in his favour.
Using all his experience and technique to the fullest, Yogeshwar managed to pull Myong Ri down on the mat, and then rolled him over a few times to lay claim on the well-deserved bronze, which he has been yearning for the past four years.
Yogeshwar earlier fought off the challenges from Matos and Esmaeilpoorjouybari, winning 3-0 and 3-1 respectively, to be in the contention for the bronze medal.
The Haryana grappler got lucky against Matos, winning the toss on both the occasions to earn a clinch position, which the experienced grappler, in his third Olympics, converted to the best of his capabilities.
With the score line reading 0-0 at the end of the first period, Yogeshwar got into the favourable position and was able to get one technical point, which was enough to gain the initial advantage.