Ravi Dahiya doesn’t show feelings, once in a while making one uncertain in the event that he has any whatsoever.

Ravi Kumar Dahiya entered the gold medal match of the 57kg category after beating Nurislam Sanayev at Tokyo Olympics. Wrestler Ravi Dahiya seemed to be down and out in the semi-final bout as his opponent in the men’s 57kg category, Kazakhstan’s Nurislam Sanayev, had raced away to a 9-2 lead. With 90 seconds to go, Dahiya caught his opponent in a double-leg attack, locked his arm and leg, and rolled him to put his shoulders down to the mat, thereby moving from 7-9 to winning by forcing the fall, thus completing a remarkable comeback.

Nurislam Sanayev, the Kazakh wrestler, frenziedly bit Dahiya on his arm. Even after that, Dahiya didn’t even flinch and, finally, he won & assured the medal for India, he didn’t give up and successfully pulled off a last-minute takedown which will go down as Indian wrestling’s most iconic Olympic moments. Dahiya also complained to the referee about the bite.

When he became Indian wrestling’s new poster boy by reaching the Olympic final, his first reaction was “Haan, theek hi hai bhaisahab”. Dahiya is someone who always appears moderate. He has no air or the flashiness of being dominant in contact sports. He’s calm and composed all the time in both defeat and victory. But as soon as his feet touches the wrestling mat, he becomes a different beast, his extensive arms and endurance makes him an intimidating opponent.

Hailing from Nahri village in Haryana’s Sonipat district, Dahiya started training from the age of six in a village akhara. At 12, he started to train under coach Satpal at New Delhi’s Chhatrasal Stadium, a place which has given India two Olympics medallists in Sushil and Yogeshwar Dutt. His father, Rakesh, who worked as a farmer on leased paddy fields, used to travel 28kms consistently for longer than 10 years to convey home-prepared food, milk and butter to his child. Before long, Dahiya began to develop and was promoted as the next big thing from Chhatrasal’s line of exceptional wrestlers. Decorations at the junior level and national titles supported the charging.

Dahiya is no stranger to making comebacks in his bouts. In the Round of 16 at the 2019 World Championships, Dahiya was 0-6 down against Arsen Harutyunyan of Armenia. He came back and logged 17 points in-a-row to win the bout, giving proof of his mental toughness.

With strong physical fitness and superior stamina, Dahiya will aim to surpass his idol Sushil’s achievement and leave his own mark at the Tokyo Olympics.

Image Credits: Sportwalk