In what has been a memorable day for India at the Olympics already, wrestler Ravi Kumar Dahiya brought home India's second silver medal at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics 2020. The 23-year-old scripted history when he reached the 57kg freestyle category final, becoming the second wrestler ever to compete in a gold-medal match at the Olympics. However, beating the two-time world champion Zavur Uguev turned out to be too tough a task.
Nonetheless, Ravi Kumar Dahiya had a dream run in his maiden Olympic appearance. In the semi-final yesterday, the wrestler from Haryana made a stunning comeback from 2-9 against Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakistan to earn a place in the final.
Fight With Zavur Uguev
In the final, the Indian wrestler engaged in a tough fight with the third-seeded Zavur Uguev of the Russian Olympic Committee. Uguev won the first two points of the match, forcing Ravi out of the mat to take a 2-0 lead. A few seconds later, Ravi turned around and pushed Uguev flat on his stomach to equalize the points. As soon as the match resumed, the Russian did the same to Ravi to keep his two-point lead intact. At the break, the score read 4-2 in favour of Uguev.
Soon after the break, the Russian tried throwing Ravi out of the mat twice but failed to win any point. A few seconds later, Uguev got hold of Ravi from the back. While Ravi tried his best not to go down, he was pushed out, and Uguev increased his lead to three points.
Ravi tried to attack, but the Russian managed to turn it around. Ravi found himself flat on his stomach, giving Uguev a 7-2 lead with only one and a half minutes to play. The Russian tried to push out Ravi again, but the Indian wrestler quickly turned around and put Uguev flat on the mat, winning two points to reduce the gap. However, time had run out as the match ended 4-7 to Russia's Zavur Uguev.
A Young Champ
Hailing from Haryana, the state which has produced some of the finest wrestlers of the country, Ravi started training under the tutelage of Satpal Singh at Chattrasal Stadium, Delhi. He was only 10. Eight years later, Ravi Dahiya won the silver medal at the 2015 Junior World Wrestling Championship. But he was sidelined for more than a year due to an injury in 2017. The young wrestler came back at the 2018 World U23 Wrestling Championship in Bucharest with yet another silver medal. In the 2019 Asian Wrestling Championship, Dahiya finished fifth, but the Haryanvi wrestler quickly put his disappointment behind. He clinched back-to-back gold medals at the 2020 and 2021 Asian Wrestling Championship.
Dahiya had earned his qualification for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 after he bagged a bronze medal in his debut at the World Wrestling Championship in Nur Sultan.
Historic Win For India
The 23-year-old wrestler also scripted history as the second Indian wrestler to win an Olympic silver medal after Sushil Kumar in London Olympics 2012. Twitter flooded with appreciation for the second silver medallist from India at the Tokyo Games 2020.
Ravi Kumar is the fifth Indian wrestler after KD Jadhav, Sushil Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt, and Sakshi Malik to finish on the Olympic podium.