Young Indian wrestler Ravi Dahiya on Thursday said he was not satisfied with a silver medal on his Olympic debut and will strive to get better to complete the unfinished task of winning a gold at the 2024 Paris Games.
The 23-year-old Dahiya reached the semifinals of the 57kg category after a sensational performance but went down to reigning world champion Zavur Uguev in the gold medal bout.
“I did not come to Tokyo for a silver medal. It will not give me satisfaction. Maybe this time I deserved only a silver because Uguev was a better wrestler today,” Dahiya told PTI in an interview.
“I could not achieve what I wanted to,” he said, disappointment palpable in his voice.
Dahiya tried every trick to breach the defence of Uguev but the Russian wrestler stayed solid, never allowing the Indian to launch his relentless attacks.
“His style was very good. I just could not find a way to play my game. I don’t know what I could have done. He wrestled very smartly,” he added.
When told that his silver-winning effort also means a lot to Indian wrestling, Dahiya said a silver was not enough.
“Wo to theek hai but I can’t sit on a silver. I have to stay focussed and work on my technique and get ready for next Olympics Games,” he said.
His coach Mahabali Satpal said Dahiya was fighting from the front and the coaches in Tokyo should have advised him to wrestle from the sides.
“The coaches (Jagmander Singh) there should have told him to change the strategy. The Russian was beatable, Ravi is a better wrestler than him, it’s a golden chance that has been missed for a historic gold,” said Satpal, who has coached Dahiya since he was 12.
His father Rakesh and his family have made a lot of sacrifices to get him to this stage. akesh still works on leased fields to run the household.
A windfall awaits as Haryana government has announced a Rs 4 crore cash award for him Dahiya said he was not thinking about money as all he is concerned about is winning an Olympic gold.
Also, he said he won’t ask his father to quit his agricultural job.
“He feels happy by working. It is up to him, if he wants to rest or not. I won’’t put any pressure on him,” he said.
His village Nahri had been waiting for an Olympic medal, hoping that it will change the destiny of its habitants. Dahiya said his village deserved transformation.
“Yes, my village has given three Olympians to India, so it deserves basic facilities. I can’t priortise what it needs first. It needs everything. Everything is important, good schools as well as sports facilities,” he said.
Nahri, about 65km from New Delhi, does not get regular electricity and potable water and does not have a proper sports facility.
Despite this, three Olympians have emerged from the village – Mahavir Singh, Amit Dahiya and now Ravi, who is now an Olympic medallist too.
With PTI Inputs