In the ongoing Tokyo Olympics, freestyle wrestler Ravi Kumar Dahiya secured his silver while Deepak Punia lost his semi-final and is all set to fight for bronze. The 13th day of the Olympics is turning out as one of the most eventful day for the Indian contingent with pugilist Lovlina Boroghain clinching the bronze medal after losing the semi-final to her Turkish opponent.
Indian wrestling contingent had a superb day at the ongoing Olympics on August 4 with Ravi Kumar Dahiya first securing at least a bronze and then winning the semi-final bout to secure the silver for India. This will be India’s second silver of the season with the first being won by weightlifter Mirabai Chanu at the first day of the Tokyo Olympics.
Ravi Kumar Dahiya showed immense in the face of a losing game and somehow scripted a turnaround that will be remembered for years. In the final round, where it mattered the most, the 23-year-old wrestler defeated Nurislam Sanayev in the semifinal of the 57kg division.
Ravi Kumar Dahiya’s Journey So Far
The freestyle wrestler was looking to be in an impeccable form and dominated the beginnings of his campaign. His first two bouts came and went with him winning via technical superiority. Ravi was 4th seeded and first outshone Tigreos Urbano in his opening bout who represented Colombia and won the game 13-2.
In his second game he again defeated Georgei Valentinov Vangelov on technical superiority. However, that game kept viewers on the edge with both the players tied at 3-3. Eventually, Ravi picked up his groove and went for his opponent’s leg when it was less than under a minute to win the game 14-4.
Ravi Makes a Comeback Worthy of Bollywood Film
His bout against Kazakhstan’s Nurislam Sanayev was proving for him a game where he was looking to be outplayed. Nurslam was leading the game with a 9-2 and all hopes were slowly and gradually receding. however, Dahiya made a comeback which almost looked like a script of a Bollywood film.
Ravi showed true grit in the face of a defeat and counter attacked his opponent to throw him out of the momentum he had gained and gained 3 points to narrow the gap to 5-9. Then came the monumental moment of the game where Ravi used all his psychological and physical strength to pin his opponent down to win by the fall and script a turnaround.
One of the finest and most dramatic comeback by Ravi Kumar Dahiya!
India is confirmed of another Olympic medal as Ravi is through to the 57kg FINAL in men's #Wrestling
at #Tokyo2020 #Cheer4India 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/8dn6VdFKhk
— Kiren Rijiju (@KirenRijiju) August 4, 2021
What a turn around Ravi Kumar Dahiya! 🤼 👏🏻
The way you kept your calm after being 9-2 down and won the match was a spectacle in itself.
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) August 4, 2021
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) August 4, 2021
Three cheers for Ravi Kumar Dahiya on his grand entry to the finals in the Men's 57kg Freestyle wrestling category beating Kazakhstan's Sanayev Nurislam!
— Mohanlal (@Mohanlal) August 4, 2021
What a great performance!
Incredible fight by Ravi Kumar Dahiya in the 57kg category of wrestling semifinals. Another medal confirmed for India in Tokyo. Go For Gold, Champ. Best of luck for the finals. pic.twitter.com/dMnILvhW6n
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) August 4, 2021
Why is Ravi Dahiya’s Victory Important?
In the greater context, Ravi’s victory signifies how much the Indian wrestling contingent have progressed. Ravi is now the 5th ever Indian wrestler to clinch an Olympic medal after KD Jadhav, Sushil Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt and Sakshi Malik.
Deepak Punia Loses Semi-Final, to Fight for Bronze
In another wrestling game Deepak Punia was facing the 2018 world champion and the current Pan-American champion David Morris Taylor. In the 86kg free-style semi-final, Punia was paired against an opponent 10 years elder to him.
To put a psychological challenge against Punia, Taylor went into the offensive right from the beginning of the clock. Punia tried holding him off and as a consequence, the referee asked him to be more active and he got an inactivity clock.
Soon, Taylor continued on his aggressive form and got a 7-0 lead against the Indian wrestler. While another comeback was prayed for, sadly the Indian wrestler couldn’t do so and eventually ended up losing the bout 10-0.
Who Will Deepak Punia Face for Bronze?
Now, Punia will fight for a bronze against either Amine Myles Nazem or Shabanu Ali. Nazem represents San Marino while Shabanu represents Belarus. Nazem is the current European Championship silver medal winner and Shabanu is the European Championship and World Championship bronze medalist.