Ravi Dahiya opened India’s medal count in wrestling with a silver medal in his maiden Olympic appearance at the Tokyo Olympics. Ravi was outdone by second seed Russia’s Zaur Uguev in the final despite putting up a great fight. The grappler’s silver medal is India’s second silver medal of the Tokyo Olympics and also second silver in wrestling at the Olympic Games.
Despite an impressive performance on his Olympic debut, Ravi is not content. The Haryana grappler shares that his aim was to return with India’s first gold medal in wrestling and was upset with himself for fulfilling his own goal. Ravi adds that he will get another shot at the elusive gold medal at Paris 2024 and will give his best in his second attempt.
“I am happy with the silver medal, but I wanted to win the gold. Our wrestlers have won silver and bronze medals in the past and the only medal left to win was a gold. I wanted to win that. For some time I was sad, but then I told myself that there will be a next time again for me,” Ravi told TOI in an exclusive interview.
“I am promising this – I will win a gold medal in Paris. I am just 23 and have a lot left in me. After going home, I will spend some time with my family and then will start practising and get back to my daily wrestling routine. Paris is my next target,” he further said.
Ravi Dahiya was bitten in the semifinal
Ravi Dahiya has stormed into the final of 57kg freestyle wrestling at the Tokyo Olympics. Ravi defeated Kazakhstan’s Nurislam Sanayev with a fall in the dying moments of the game. The Indian grappler was down and out early in the second period as the Kazakh wrestler rushed to a seven-point lead.
But the Indian came roaring back to overturn the fate of the bout. In the dying moments of the game, as Ravi went for the fall, Sanayev bit him to escape from his clutches. Despite the pain, Ravi held on and finished his move to secure a win. He shares that he has no hard feelings for the Kazakh following the incident as he added that Sanayev later apologised for his actions.
‘Wrestling mein to log jhagde aur maar pitai pe aa jaate hain bhaisaab, ye to choti baat hai’ (people get involved in fights, altercations and even physical confrontations in wrestling; this is a very small thing). I left memories of that (bite) on the mat. I continued to feel the pain, of course (laughs), but didn’t have any hard feelings for him (Kazakh wrestler who bit Ravi),” said Ravi.
“When I came for the weigh-in the next day, Sanayev was already there. He came and shook hands with me. I greeted him too because I had already forgotten everything. He hugged me and said – ‘sorry brother’. I smiled and hugged him back. We are friends. We also shared a few laughs on other topics,” the Olympic medallist said.