Ravi Dahiya made history on Thursday when he became only the second Indian wrestler to win a silver medal at the Olympic Games. The 23-year-old lost the men’s freestyle 57kg title clash 4-7 to reigning world champion Zavur Uguev in Tokyo.
There were expectations that Dahiya would become India’s youngest Olympic champion, but the Russian defended well to win comfortably.
Dahiya had lost to Uguev at the 2019 World Championship also.
Many Congratulations to Ravi Dahiya for bagging the silver medal at #Tokyo2020
Showed great mental resilience in your debut Games. Huge potential for Gold in Paris 2024! Much admiration and the very best of luck for your journey ahead.
— Abhinav A. Bindra OLY (@Abhinav_Bindra) August 5, 2021
The wrestler, from Nahri village in Haryana, had outclassed Colombia’s Tigreros Urbano (13-2) in his opener and then outwitted Bulgaria’s Georgi Valentinov Vangelov (14-4) in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, he erased a massive 2-9 deficit to pin Nurislam Sanayev.
Sushil Kumar, who is now in jail on charges of murder, is the only other Indian wrestler to have made the final at Olympics. He won a silver at the 2012 London Games, where Yogeshwar Dutt also won a bronze.
Sushil had won a bronze at the 2008 Beijing Games.
India now have five Olympic medal winning wrestlers.
KD Jadhav had won a bronze in the 1952 Helsinki Games. Sakshi Malik had become the first woman wrestler to win an Olympic medal when she clinched a bronze at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.