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Tokyo Olympics | Ravi Dahiya does India proud with a silver

Ravi Kumar of India in action against Zavur Uguev of the Russian Olympic Committee.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

Ravi Kumar Dahiya finished with the silver medal after losing 7-4 to World champion Zaur Uguev of Russia in the keenly-fought men’s 57kg freestyle final on Thursday.

The 23-year-old Ravi became the second Indian wrestler, after Sushil Kumar, to get a silver medal in the Olympics. He had lost to Uguev in the semifinal of the World wrestling championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, in 2019.

Worlds silver medallist Deepak Punia went down fighting to San Marino’s Myles Amine 4-2 in an 86kg bronze medal match to end his campaign on a disappointing note.

In the much-anticipated gold medal contest, Uguev took an early lead by pushing Ravi out of the circle twice. Ravi, a Worlds bronze medallist and a two-time Asian champion, caught up with the Russian through a fine takedown from the left.

Uguev soon restored his lead to go into the second period with a 4-2 advantage. The Russian surprised Ravi with one of his fine moves to extend his lead to 5-2 before inflating it with another takedown.

Ravi gave his best to break the solid defence of Uguev and reduce the margin to 7-4. The Indian wrestled his heart out in the closing seconds but could not stop Uguev from achieving the rare honour of being a World and Olympic champion.

For a change, Ravi became emotional after losing the bout.

On Wednesday, Ravi had beaten Pan American silver medallist Colombian Oscar Tigreros 13-2, Bulgarian Individual World Cup bronze medallist Georgi Vangelov 14-4 and double Worlds medallist Kazakh Nurislam Sanayev ‘by fall’ to reach the final of the Olympic Games.

Lead lost

After managing a 2-1 lead in the opening period of his bronze medal match, Deepak held on to his slender lead for most part of the second period. However, the perseverance of Amine, a European bronze medallist, paid off as he broke the Indian’s resistance to manage a takedown with less than 10 seconds to go.

Deepak’s challenge was in vain and he left the wrestling hall in a state of shock.


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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 7:18:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/tokyo-olympics-ravi-dahiya-does-india-proud-with-a-silver/article35743405.ece

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