Indian wrestler Ravi Dahiya on Thursday (August 5) became just the second wrestler to win a silver medal at the Olympics after Sushil Kumar, who achieved the feat at the 2012 London Olympics. For a period of time, Dahiya used to consider Sushil Kumar his idol in wrestling as rhey both trained at the same stadium – Chhatrasal – in New Delhi.
Sushil Kumar is currently in Delhi’s Tihar Jail, facing murder charges. According to jail staff, he was ‘emotional’ while watching the bout on a TV set up for him and was disappointed when Ravi Dahiya lost.
The 23-year-old Ravi Dahiya trains at Chhatrasal Stadium, the training ground for Olympians like Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt. In fact, Dahiya moved into Yogeshwar’s room in Chhatrasal when the 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist moved out
Some 100 other wrestlers training at Chhatrasal also watched the game together and cheered wildly for their compatriot. India had first won a medal in wrestling – a bronze – in 1952. After a long gap, Sushil Kumar brought home a bronze from the 2008 Beijing Olympics and then won a silver at the London games.
Ravi Dahiya, the son of a farmer at Nahari village in Haryana’s Sonipat, was mentored by the renowned Satpal Singh, a recipient of the Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri, Dronacharya Award and Arjuna Award.
“It was incredible and wonderful to watch because I have never seen someone winning after falling behind 2-9 and that too with just one minute to go,” Mahabali Satpal was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.
Satpal said in his 52-year wrestling career as a player and a coach, he has seen thousands of bouts and hundreds of good Indian wrestlers but he did not come across something like that.
“This (bout) is right up there with Sushil’s semifinal in London when Sushil was trailing and then lifted his opponent (Akzhurek Tanatarov) on his shoulder to awe the world. That was incredible to watch and this (Ravi’s bout)was too a super fight!” he added.