Sushil’s presence helped: Ravi Dahiya

Job well done: Ravi Dahiya’s hard work pre-tournament paid off with a bronze medal.   | Photo Credit: -

Having his idol Sushil Kumar by his side was a huge privilege for the lesser-known Ravi Dahiya, who performed with confidence to achieve the twin target of booking an Olympic quota place, in the men’s freestyle 57kg category, and also bagging a World championships medal on debut in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.

Ravi, a product of Chhatrasal Stadium in Delhi, thanked Sushil for inspiring him in the most crucial test of his life so far. “Sushil pehlwan was there with me. He asked me to keep [my] focus and give my 100 per cent. He said if I fought carefully and stuck to my game, I would be successful. Feels good to have achieved something significant,” Ravi told The Hindu.

The shy and soft-spoken World under-23 silver medallist wrestler said his effort to fine-tune his game for the World championships helped him. “I worked on some areas of my game like defence and counter-attack and it helped. I still have to work on these areas ahead of the Olympics. I need to give special attention to my leg defence.”

Toughest bout

According to Ravi, who defeated European champion Arsen Harutunyan of Armenia and former world champion Yuki Takahashi in consecutive bouts to reach the semifinals, the fight against the Japanese was the toughest. “I had lost to the Japanese in the Asian championships and he had gone on to win a bronze medal. The bronze medal contest (against Asian champion Reza Atrinagharch of Iran) was not so difficult.”

Remembering his days of struggle, when he was out of action nursing a knee injury after securing medals in age group events at the Asian level, Ravi said, “Nowadays, with Tata Motors sponsoring even the juniors, things are easier. Those days there was no sponsor and I had to fall back on some of my well-wishers to recover from my knee injury. It was a struggle. There was some frustration due to the uncertainty (related to recovery). Good that it’s gone now.”

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Printable version | Oct 23, 2021 3:57:19 PM |

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