The courage of Ravi Dahiya is the stuff of legends. Young wrestlers are often told about a man who can only be stopped by the clock and whose persistent attacks can drain the energy out of his opponents. They are also told about his ability to come back from the dead which can easily put the Undertaker to shame. Even though Ravi Dahiya is only 23 years old, he is a man with countless myths in the Sonipat district of Haryana.
On Wednesday, far removed from his hometown in Haryana, the 23-year old Indian freestyle wrestler added to his legend inside the mega convention hall outside Tokyo. Dahiya ensured a fourth medal for India at the Olympics, a fourth consecutive medal for wrestling, and a first final in the sport since London 2012 when Sushil Kumar fought for a gold medal. With less than 2 minutes on the clock at 9-2 down in the 57kg weight class of the semi-final, Dahiya turned things around that will go down in Olympic wrestling history.
Kazakh Nurislam Sanayev from Kazakhstan used the ‘par terre’ position which seemed like an insurmountable 7-point lead. It’s also quite rare for a wrestler to outclass such a deficit. However, Dahiya kept his cool and got hold of the Asian champion’s left leg to roll him over before pinning him down, producing one of the most incredible takedowns in the Olympic Games so far.
Ravi Dahiya and the Mighty Russian
When the fight was stopped by the referee, Sanayev was in pain, flat on his back, and his face buried between his hands while Dahiya loomed over him with a pumped fist and a passive-aggressive expression. Dahiya portrayed his legendary powers, propelling him to an Olympic final which will take place on Thursday. This will be his maiden appearance and only Sushil Kumar has been here before.
There are two more wrestlers from India that are competing for medals on Thursday, including Anshu Malik in the women’s 57kg weight class along with Deepak Punia in the men’s 86kg weight class. Malik needs to go through repechage to hopefully win a bronze medal, while Punia is only one victory away from reaching the podium.
Still, all the focus will remain firmly with Dahiya as he faces Zaur Uguev for the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics. Dahiya will be the underdog as he battles it out against the mighty Russian. However, his reputation of being the ‘unlikely man’ in Indian wrestling means that nothing is impossible in the final.
Dahiya has been mentored by Sushil Kumar, the two-time Olympic medallist, at the Chhatrasal academy in Delhi. All the preparations will be on show during the final and its going to be a phenomenal bout, to say the least. Don’t miss out on the betting action and place your bets at any of the featured betting sites at BettingPro before it’s too late.