Ravi, who entered the final after registering a thrilling win over Kazakhstan’s Nurislam Sanayev in the semifinals, lost 4-7 to ROC’s Zavur Uguev in the summit clash.
“Ravi is just 23 and the way he played in his maiden Olympics is commendable. I am really happy with his performance. We all should applaud him – that he reached the final with such spectacular victories. Yes, the final didn’t go his way, but Ravi ensured wrestling remained on top in these Olympics too. Ravi didn’t commit any mistakes in the final. That’s the best part. I saw the bout. He gave his best. This will be a massive learning experience for him and it will help him in the future,” Yogeshwar told TimesofIndia.com in an exclusive interview.
Ravi Kumar Dahiya is a remarkable wrestler! His fighting spirit and tenacity are outstanding. Congratulations to hi… https://t.co/iuzLXSiumT
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) 1628162181000
“From Beijing to Tokyo, wrestlers have won medals in every Olympic Games. The wrestling family is thankful to Ravi for maintaining that record. I am confident, and mark my words, Ravi will win a gold in his next Olympics. He will be part of two more Olympics for sure. You will see a gold medal around his neck in the Paris Olympics. He has the calibre and spark,” Yogeshwar, who won an Olympic bronze medal at the London Games in 2012, said.
Indian wrestlers have won a total of 6 medals in Olympic history so far (including Ravi’s silver in Tokyo). KD Jadhav (bronze in 1952 Helsinki Games), Sushil (bronze in 2008 Beijing Games), Sushil (silver in 2012 London Games), Yogeshwar Dutt (bronze in 2012 London Games), Sakshi Malik (bronze in 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games), and now Ravi Dahiya (silver in 2020 Tokyo Games) are the wrestlers who have brought home the big prize – an Olympic medal in wrestling for the country.
Ravi, a 23 year old from Nahri village in Sonipat, Haryana was one win away from becoming just the second Indian individual Olympic gold medallist, after Abhinav Bindra. But he had to eventually settle for the silver. However, given the fact that he wasn’t on the list as such of big medal contenders from the wrestling mats for India, his achievement in Tokyo is a very big one.
“Winning and losing are part and parcel of the game. We all wanted Ravi to win the gold medal. I was also confident that he would win gold. But we should be aware of who his opponent was – that he is a World Champion (Uguev). He has experience and he also came to win. We should praise Ravi for winning a medal for India. He will go a long way,” the senior wrestler further said.
“He has had a short career so far, but he is a quick learner. In a very short period of time, he was shifted from the junior to the senior team. His determination and hard work won him a medal at the Olympics. His future is very bright. You will see him win a gold in Paris,” Yogeshwar, who also won gold medals in the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, Commonwealth Championship and Asian Championships, signed off.