Home » Other Sports News » Tokyo Olympics: Trailing 2-9, Ravi Dahiya stages stunning comeback to pin down Kazakhstan rival and enter final | Tokyo Olympics News – Times of India

Tokyo Olympics: Trailing 2-9, Ravi Dahiya stages stunning comeback to pin down Kazakhstan rival and enter final | Tokyo Olympics News – Times of India

This wasn’t for the faint-hearted, for sure. And if you happened to be one, it was better if you had stayed away from your TV set between 2:45pm and 2:51pm on Wednesday afternoon.
What happened in those nerve-wracking six minutes at the Makuhari Messe Hall’s wrestling arena A, on Mat B in Tokyo, set the pulse racing.
An Indian freestyle wrestler, from a small, long-neglected village in Haryana, waged a battle of a lifetime and scripted a comeback for the ages.
Unassuming and quiet, Ravi Dahiya is a product of now jailed wrestling superstar Sushil Kumar’s iconic Chhatrasal academy in North West Delhi’s Model Town area. On Wednesday, Dahiya forced his way into the gold medal match in men’s freestyle 57kg category.

Dahiya, ranked No. 4 in the United World Wrestling’s (UWW) ranking charts, will face Russian Olympic Committee’s (ROC) Zavur Uguev, a two-time world champion, in the final on Thursday afternoon.
Dahiya is only the second Indian wrestler after Sushil’s London 2012 heroics to enter the final of the wrestling competitions at the Olympic Games. Wednesday’s show also confirmed a fourth medal for India.
Trailing 2-9 in his semifinal clash against Kazakhstan’s Nurislam Sunyaev, World Championships medallist, and with 50 seconds left on the clock for the bout to end, 30-year-old Dahiya summoned all his powers and experience to turn the tables on his rival in a dramatic way, clinching the issue by ‘pinfall’, even as the scores Dahiya’s rhythm. With the scoreline still favouring the Kazakh at 9-5, Dahiya went for the singledrive leg attack and scored a twopoint takedown before converting to a pin, where he snapped Sunyaev’s shoulders and kept them fixed to the mat to be declared winner ‘by fall’.
Dahiya, two-time Asian champion (2020, 2021) and a bronze winner at the World Championships in 2019, led the first scoring period of three minutes 2-1 after executing a two-point takedown of Sunyaev.
However, it was the Kazakh who completely changed the complexion of the bout in the final period after performing an astonishing eight-point ‘fitele’ (twirling the opponent on his back multiple times with great speed and perfection) following an ankle lock on Ravi.
Within seconds, Sunyaev raced to a 9-2 lead and the contest looked over for Dahiya. Another spin by the Kazakh would have ended the contest.
Dahiya has staged several such fightbacks in his career. In the Polish Open ranking tournament in Warsaw in June, he went on to win a bout 18-8 from a seemingly impossible situation when he trailed 0-8 with just 60 seconds to go.
Dahiya had entered the lastfour stage after defeating Bulgaria’s Georgi Valentinov 14-4 in the quarterfinals and Colombia’s Oscar Eduardo Tigreros Urbano 13-2 in the opening round.
Deepak, Anshu fight for bronze
The other two Indian challengers, World No. 2 Deepak Punia (86kg) and woman wrestler Anshu Malik (57kg), will fight for the bronze on Thursday after qualifying for the repechage round.
World Championships silver medallist Punia’s defence was demolished by former world champion David Taylor of the US in the men’s freestyle 86kg semifinal bout. The American won 10-0 on technical superiority, completing the formalities in just 191 seconds. Malik lost her opening bout to Bulgaria’s double World medallist Iryna Kurachkina 2-8 in the women’s 57kg category. Since Kurachkina made it to the title clash, Malik will get a shot at the bronze through repechage round.

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