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I don’t need to take pressure: Dahiya

Top contender: Ravi Kumar Dahiya will hope his training pays off and he is able to win a medal and unfurl India’s flag.  

Considered a medal contender in Tokyo, World championships bronze medallist Ravi Kumar Dahiya has trained his thought process such that it keeps the pressure at bay.

Dahiya, who will compete in 57kg, has a simple formula to approach the Olympics. “It’s the biggest event. But it’s just another event. I have fought with most of the wrestlers in the field. I don’t need to take pressure,” Dahiya told The Hindu.

Dahiya, who retained his Asian championships title and took a silver medal in the Poland Open in recent months, has overcome visa issues to travel from Poland to Russia with fellow wrestler Deepak Punia (86kg) and join Bajrang Punia (65kg) at a training centre in Vladikavkaz.

“We could have trained in Russia for 10-15 days more. But that episode is over now and my training is going on nicely. Sparring with foreign wrestlers is the biggest advantage here. My personal coach Kamal Malikov knows the language and sets up training sessions with different sparring partners,” said Dahiya.

The other aspect of Dahiya’s preparations is watching videos of his rivals. “Everything is available on the internet. I watch my rivals’ bouts and devise my game plans accordingly. Similarly, they must be watching my bouts.”

Dahiya is aware that he is very close to winning a medal in Tokyo, but is staying calm.

He takes professional help for mental training. “Sometimes I speak to a motivational speaker, Vickrant Mahajan. He tells me about small things which can make a difference. He says, ‘If others can do it, then you can also do it. Have faith in God and give your best’.”

Dahiya has left nothing to chance and believes that God will help him in the biggest performance of his life.

Visa extension

Meanwhile, the three Olympic-bound wrestlers training at Vladikavkaz had a sigh of relief after their visa was extended till August 1 following efforts from the Union External Affairs Ministry and the Indian ambassador to Russia, D.B. Venkatesh Verma.

Visas of Bajrang and his physio Manish were valid up to July 14. Visas of Ravi, Deepak and four other support staff, including coaches Jagmender Singh and Anil Mann, are valid up to July 25.

The extension of visas will help the Indian wrestlers devote more time to their training and avoid India-specific COVID restrictions on reaching Japan.

They will leave for Tokyo from Russia on July 30.

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Printable version | Sep 21, 2021 11:05:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/i-dont-need-to-take-pressure-dahiya/article35476381.ece

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