Experts have predicted that India would have the best medal tally in their history of the Olympics at Tokyo 2020. When Mirabai Chanu won a silver medal for weightlifting on the very second day of the Games, it seemed like India was going to achieve their goal. But then some of the highly expected athletes like Mary Kom, Deepika Kumari, Manika Batra, and Atanu Das fell short in their respective competitions without claiming a medal. On August 4th, the whole of India was watching wrestler Ravi Kumar Dahiya performing in the semifinals of the men’s freestyle 57 kg. A win against world No. 5 ranked Kazakhstan wrestler Sanayev Nurislam would ensure a silver medal for India and level the previous best medal tally of 6 medals.
Guess what, the star from Nahri village of Haryana defeated him by fall to advance to the finals and made India and Indian wrestling proud again. This is the inspirational story of Ravi Kumar Dahiya – The boy from Nahri who rise to the Olympic Podium.
Ravi Kumar Dahiya Information
Ravi Kumar Dahiya
Freestyle 57 kg
Date of Birth
December 12, 1997
Satpal Singh and Virender Kumar
World No. 4 in 57 kg freestyle
Silver medal in Tokyo Olympics 2020
5 - 10 Million INR
Rakesh Dahiya and Reema Devi
Teams Played for
Indian National Wrestling Team
Local School in Sonipat
Nahri: The Wrestling hub of India
Nahri village is a well-known wrestling hub in India. Situated in the Sonipat district of Haryana, Nahri has produced a large number of wrestling talents like the Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist Bajrang Punia, Phogat sisters, and the two-time Commonwealth gold medal winner, Yogeshwar Dutt. Ravi Kumar inherited that Nahri gene of wrestling but the economic calamities of his family held him back from pursuing a wrestling career. His father, Rakesh Kumar worked as a farmer but did not own farmland.
He used to rent farms while his wife Reema Devi had a shop. Ravi used to help his mother and father in their work because of financial troubles. Rakesh Kumar, after knowing his son’s ambitions, worked hard to build him a professional wrestling career.
Ravi Kumar Dahiya & the Chhatrasal academy
Ravi joined the Chhatrasal academy, the mentor of legendary Indian wrestlers like Yogeshwar Dutt and Sushil Kumar. His father used to walk around 10 kilometers every day from the village to Chhatrasal stadium to bring Ravi fruits and milk which was a part of his training diet.
His first major achievement was in the Junior World Championship 2015 contesting in the 55 kg freestyle event at Salvador de Bahia where he clinched the silver medal. In 2017, Ravi met with a knee injury just before the semifinals of the Senior Nationals. After staying away from the sport for more than a year, he made his return in stunning fashion winning another silver medal in the U-23 World Wrestling Championship. He became the only Indian to win a medal in the 57 kg category in the history of the tournament. After the Asian Wrestling Championship of 2019, he rose to No.5 in the world rankings.
In the same year, the 22-year-old Ravi Kumar made his World Championship debut. On his way to the semifinals, he defeated some of the notable names in World wrestling and ensured the Tokyo 2020 Olympic berth.
He lost to the Russian Zaur Uguev in the semifinals who went on to take the Championship by his name. Ravi, at the same time, secured the bronze medal by beating the then Asian Champion Reza Atrinagharchi. The saddest part is that his father never watched him perform live at an arena.
Ravi Kumar Dahiya: Tokyo Olympics 2020
Ravi Kumar’s Olympic run was a fairytale. He clearly dominated the first two rounds of the 57 kg freestyle event taking down OE. Tigreros Urbano of Colombia 13-2 and the Bulgarian Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority. The semifinal was a tough bout against Sanayev Nurislam of Kazakhstan. Ravi was actually trailing 9-7 in the contest. But towards the final minute, he pinned Sanayev and dramatically won the bout by fall. In the final, he met Zaur Uguev once again and the Russian was too good for Ravi. He won 7-4 comfortably for the gold medal. Nevertheless, Ravi Kumar Dahiya made the nation proud at the Olympic podium. He became only the second wrestler to win an Olympic silver medal after the great Sushil Kumar.
Ravi Kumar Dahiya Achievements
- Silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
- Bronze medal at 2019 World Wrestling Championships.
- Two-time Asian champion.
- Silver medal at the 2018 World U23 Wrestling Championship in Bucharest
Ravi Kumar Dahiya photos
I would like to thank all my countrymen wholeheartedly for the love & support I have rec'd. I dedicate our olympic silver medal to all the families of the corona virus victims & the corona warriors – they are our real heroes and I salute them with utmost respect. #JaiHind 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/2boFjRymEW
— Ravi Kumar Dahiya (@ravidahiya60) August 7, 2021
Wrestler #RaviDahiya brings Silver Medal for #TeamIndia after losing to ROC's Zavur Uguev in the final of the 57kg category of men's freestyle wrestling#Cheer4India #Tokyo2020 #Wrestling #Olympics pic.twitter.com/jIUvToTqlw
— DD News (@DDNewslive) August 5, 2021
I am feeling very emotional right now. Thank you my beloved countrymen, I am truly humbled and honoured by your love and affection. I promise to win more medals for India. Thank you everyone 🙏🏼🙏🏼 #JaiHind 🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/Xzgfkurtlk
— Ravi Kumar Dahiya (@ravidahiya60) August 9, 2021