India’s Ravi Kumar Dahiya got a silver medal on his Olympic debut as he went down fighting to two-time world champion Zaur Uguev in the men’s 57kg freestyle wrestling final at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday.
The 23-year-old Indian fought bravely but the experience of Uguev, representing the Russian Olympic Committee, won as the gold medal bout ended 7-4 in his favour.
Dahiya became the second Indian wrestler to win silver, after Sushil Kumar at the 2012 London Games. He had reached the final on Wednesday with a sensational turnaround in the final seconds but was unable to upset the odds again.
Dahiya had lost to Uguev at the 2019 World Championship also.
The bout started with a one-point move for Uguev as he pushed him out of bounds but Ravi fought back for a two-pointer of his own. Uguev hit back immediately and with the same move that Ravi pulled on him, took a 4-2 lead heading into the interval.
The Indian defended well but he couldn’t wipe the lead and the match ended with the Russian winning the one medal from his collection – an Olympic gold.
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The wrestler from Nahri village in Haryana had outclassed Colombia’’s Tigreros Urbano (13-2) in his opener and then outwitted Bulgaria’’s Georgi Valentinov Vangelov (14-4) in the quarterfinals.
In the semifinals, he erased a massive 2-9 deficit to pin Nurislam Sanayev.