Yogeshwar Dutt, who will lead India's challenge at the upcoming Asian Games in the absence of Sushil Kumar, is expecting the wrestlers to win three to four freestyles medals for the country in the mega-event known to have much tougher competition than the Commonwealth Games.
India won an impressive 13 medals in the Glasgow Commonwealth Game last month but the figure is expected to drop drastically at the September 19-October 4 event in Incheon, South Korea. India could only manage three wrestling medals in the 2010 edition.
"Asian Games are much tougher of course with wrestlers from Iran, Japan, North Korea, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan taking part. If you do well at Asian Games, then you get confidence of winning a medal at World Championships. Having said that, the boys are working hard. We should get around three to four medals in freestyle," Yogeshwar said at the sidelines of Samsung promotional event for the Asian Games here today.
Yogeshwar, who won the CWG gold last month in the new 65kg category, is eying his maiden Asian Games title. He missed the 2010 edition in Guangzhou owing to an injury but had won bronze in the 60kg category at Doha 2006.
"I have already won the Asian Championships and now the aim is to win gold at Asian Games," said the 31-year-old Olympic bronze medallist, who is giving the World Championships a miss for success in Incheon.
"I would have competed at worlds had it been after the Asian Games. The continental event comes once every four years and it is really important for India. Plus I am injury prone so could pick only one competition. Hopefully I and the other boys make the country proud," said Yogeshwar.
On the overall men's squad, he added: "Barring myself and Narsingh Yadav (74kg), all boys are young. They are good and they are hungry. I am confident they will be up to the task."
Another medal can certainly be expected from Amit Kumar, who competes in the 57kg category.