Another athlete with the Indian contingent, Ravi Kumar Dhaiya, has now been assured a medal.

Dhaiya will be on the podium with at least a silver in the Wrestling – Men’s freestyle, 57kgs.

“I know I have won a gold at the Asian Championships, but what matters for me is the Olympics. What I do on the mat in Tokyo will matter. All I can think of are the Olympics. I am hungry for an Olympic medal. I just want to go and give my best in Tokyo,” he had told the Times of India back in February 2020.

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Hailing from Sonipat in Haryana, the wrestler was born in December 1997. His training began at the tender age of 10, at Chhatrasal Stadium in Delhi, by trainer Satpal Singh.

His father, Rakesh Dahiya, is a farmer who worked on rented paddy fields. Reports suggest that the father would travel daily from his village to the Chhatrasal Stadium to deliver milk and fruits, an important part of a wrestler’s diet, for over a decade.

To secure a place in the 2020 Summer Olympics, the wrestler won a bronze medal at the 2019 World Wrestling Championships, in the 57 kg category. Upon clinching this medal, Dahiya was included in the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports’ Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) in October 2019.

His first major win was the silver medal he won in the 55 kg freestyle category at the 2015 Junior World Wrestling Championships in Salvador de Bahia. However, an injury that befell him in 2017 kept him away from the mat for over a year.

To mark his comeback, he won the silver medal at the 2018 World U23 Wrestling Championship in Bucharest, India’s only medal at the competition, in the 57 kg category. Dahiya remained unbeaten at the 2019 Pro Wrestling League, representing the title-winning team, Haryana Hammers the 23-year-old was ranked fifth at the 2019 Asian Wrestling Championships in Xi’an, after losing the bronze medal match.

Most bouts he had won were due to technical superiority. Most recently, at 2-9 with barely ninety seconds to spare, Dahiya was able to turn the match in his favour against Nurislam Sanayev, who had a 7-year edge.

He will be competing for a gold medal.

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