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CWG 2022: I am an Olympic medallist but don’t want to stop learning; wrestler who bit me now a good friend, says Ravi Dahiya | Commonwealth Games 2022 News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: ” Training zor shor se chal rahi hai bhaisaab, bas jaake desh ke liye medal lana hai” (Training is in full swing. Just have to go there and try and win a medal for my country) – India’s star wrestler Ravi Dahiya (57kg) told TimesofIndia.com while gearing up for his maiden Commonwealth Games appearance.
Dahiya has been in great form over the last year or so. The 24-year-old wrestler from Nahri village, in Sonipat, won a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year and then a gold medal at the Asian Championships in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, in April earlier this year. This was Dahiya’s third gold medal at the Asian Championships overall and the youngster is eager to continue his gold-medal winning spree at the CWG.

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“Preparations and training are done. I just want to go, perform and win a medal for my country. I will go for gold. I am confident about this. I don’t take any tournament lightly. I am not taking the Commonwealth Games lightly at all. It is a tournament and I am going to represent India. For me, winning a medal, especially the gold, is the main target. I will give my hundred percent to win a gold medal for my country. It is my maiden CWG and I want to win a gold in my maiden appearance,” Dahiya told TimesofIndia.com in an exclusive interview.
“I just want to see myself getting better and better. I have been learning and will keep this process going. I am confident of a good showing at the Commonwealth Games. I have not made any changes to my game. Yes, I am learning new things but haven’t made any changes to my game or technique,” the Olympic silver medallist in the 57kg category further told TimesofIndia.com.
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) last Saturday announced a 322 member contingent, including 215 athletes and 107 officials and support staff for the CWG. The Games are scheduled to run from July 28 to August 8 in Birmingham. India had won 66 medals – 26 gold, 20 silver and 20 bronze – in the last edition in 2018, held in the Gold Coast and finished third overall on the medals tally. Australia with 198 medals and England with 136 medals finished first and second, respectively.
Indian wrestlers won 12 medals – 5 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze – at the 2018 CWG.

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Ravi Dahiya, Bajrang Punia and Deepak Punia
Apart from Dahiya (57kg), Bajrang Punia (65kg), Naveen (74kg), Deepak Punia (86kg), Deepak (97kg) and Mohit Dahiya (125 kg) are the other wrestlers who will hit the mats in Birmingham in the men’s freestyle category.
“All the wrestlers in the India squad are extremely talented. No wrestler has left a single stone unturned in their preparations for the CWG. I am hoping for gold medals for everyone in the India squad,” a confident Dahiya said.
DAHIYA’S LIFE AFTER OLYMPIC GLORY
The dejection of losing the final bout and missing out on a gold medal, in his maiden Olympics, was clearly visible on Dahiya’s face. He entered the 57kg final with a series of magnificent wins but lost 4-7 to ROC’s Zavur Uguev in the summit clash. But Ravi is adamant now about giving it his all to change the colour of his medal at the next Olympics in Paris in 2024.

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But how much has he changed since becoming an Olympic silver medallist?
“There is no change in me. I am still the same Ravi Dahiya (laughs). The biggest change I have seen, after winning the Olympic medal, is people have started recognising me. The Olympic medal has given me an identity. But though I know I am an Olympic medallist but don’t want to stop learning. Tokyo was my maiden Olympics and I am happy with the silver-medal finish. I learnt a lot at the Olympics, especially how to handle pressure and perform on the biggest stage in the world. I don’t want to stop here though. I want to go for gold in Paris. That is the ultimate aim. I would like to change the colour of my medal in Paris – from silver to gold,” Dahiya further said.
“People shower love on me when I go somewhere. When I visited Nahri, my village, after winning the Olympic medal, people welcomed me and celebrated my accomplishment. I was so happy,” he said.
“The moment the Tokyo Olympics finished, I shifted my focus towards the Paris Olympics. There will be many competitions in between but the focus will remain on Paris only. All I need is the same love and affection from my country,” Dahiya further told TimesofIndia.com.
HOW HE BURIED THE HATCHET WITH KAZAKH WRESTLER WHO BIT HIM

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The episode of Dahiya being bitten by Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan on his right bicep during his semi-final bout at the Tokyo Olympics was one of the big talking points at that time. The Indian wrestler, who defeated Sanayev to make his way to the final of the competition, buried the hatchet right there and then though. The next day when Dahiya came in for his weigh-in, the Kazakh wrestler approached Ravi and apologised. Dahiya smiled, hugged him and wished him luck. Since then, they have become friends.
“Whatever happened, it is in the past now. I have forgotten that episode. I am still in touch with him. I talk to him on social media platforms. We are good friends now. He is a good wrestler and we share a good bond,” Dahiya signed off.





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