Tokyo Olympics Wrestling: Ravi Kumar Dahiya creates history, 2nd Indian ever to enter final

Indian wrester Ravi Kumar Dahiya put on a sensational show on Wednesday (August 4) to enter the gold medal final in thr 57kg category by defeating Kazakhstan’s Nurislam Sanayev in the semifinal. Dahiya became just the second Indian wrester ever to enter the Olympics final after Sushil Kumar back in 2012 London Olympics.

After training 9-2 in the second period, the Haryana grappler turned the match around by pinning Sanayev after picking up 5 points in a row to ensure at least a silver medal for India at the Tokyo Olympics. After Ravi slammed down Sanayev, the two-time world championships medallist got injured and required some time. After that, it did not take a lot of time for Dahiya to pin the Kazakh wrestler to pick up an amazing come-from-behind win. Even though, Sanayev was up 9-7, Ravi won the match by pinfall.

Dahiya was his usual dominant self while Deepak Punia pulled off a decisive two-pointer towards the end of his quarterfinal as the two Indian wrestlers stormed into the semifinals.  Such was the dominance of 23-year Dahiya that he won both his bouts on technical superiority to set up a 57kg semifinal clash with Kazakhstan’s Nurislam Sanayev.

Deepak made the most of an easy draw by getting past Nigeria’s Ekerekeme Agiomor, the African championship bronze medallist by technical superiority and then prevailed 6-3 against China’s Zushen Lin in the quarterfinal. The fourth-seeded Dahiya outclassed Colombia’s Tigreros Urbano (13-2) in his opener and then outwitted Bulgaria’s Georgi Valentinov Vangelov (14-4).

Against Urbano, Dahiya remained dominant, apart from conceding a take-down in the first period. The reigning Asian champion nailed the win with one minute and 10 seconds still remaining in the bout, which was stopped after he raced to a winning lead.

The Indian effected five take-down moves in the second period, showing his technical prowess. Against Vangelov, Dahiya relied on his double leg attacks, building his lead gradually.

In the 86kg, the Nigerian had the power but Deepak was technically sound and won comfortably. Against Lin, though, the 22-year-old Indian struggled.

He opened up a 3-1 lead but Lin effected a takedown to make it 3-3 and head on criteria. The referee awarded two points to Deepak for a throw but the Chinese won the challenge.

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