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Indian wrestler Geeta Kumari returns home after booking London Olympics berth

New Delhi, Tue, 03 Apr 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Apr 3 (ANI): Indian wrestler Geeta Kumari returned home on Tuesday after clinching a gold medal at the Asian qualifying tournament in Astana, Kazakhstan, in the 55 kilograms category, becoming the first Indian woman wrestler to book a place for the London Olympics.

After her arrival, a thrilled Geeta said: "I am very happy, because this was not only my dream, but my father's dream as well that I qualify for the Olympics. I am unhappy at the same time because my younger sister, Babita, could not qualify. She was selected for the 48 kilograms category and went on to the trials too, but because of the government, some other girl was given a chance, even though my sister is good. So, I am unhappy because had she gone for the tournament, she would have definitely qualified."

Geeta has now set her eyes on winning an Olympic medal.

"We have begun our preparations for the Olympics, which is our main target. So, this was a qualifying round. My father as well as my entire family has supported me because I have been into wrestling for the last ten years and it is all because of my father's support. He did not deprive of anything and ensured that we never faced financial crisis," she said.

Geeta's sister Babita said she was also happy at her sister's qualification for the London Olympics.

"I am elated, not only I, but my entire family and we have all come to the airport to welcome her. So, we are happy because no other girl has qualified in the Olympics in wrestling and my sister did it. So, I am very happy," she said.

Geeta beat Kyrgyzstan's Gulina by 8-0 in an impressive opening round and went on to defeat Aiym Abdildina of Kazakhstan (9-4) in the semi-finals. In the final she faced Korea's Ji Eun Um, whom she defeated by 5-0 to go on to win the gold in the 55 kg category.

Geeta had earlier won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games 2010 in New Delhi. She hails from Haryana's Bhiwani.

Her father and coach Mahavir Singh was a former wrestler himself. (ANI)

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