Ravi Dahiya clinched the bronze medal in the men’s 57kg category by defeating Reza Ahmadali Atrinagharchi of Iran by a scoreline of 6-3 at the Wrestling World Championships in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan on Friday.
Dahiya took a 2-0 lead with a superb reversal to get the takedown and kept that lead in to the break. But with the Iranian threatening to comeback with the score at 3-4, Dahiya had produce another attacking move in the end to prevail in a tight bronze medal bout.
It was Dahiya’s first appearance at the senior World Championships. He had won silver previously at the 2015 junior worlds followed by another silver at the 2018 cadet worlds.
By reaching the semi-finals on Thursday, Dahiya had also ensured an Olympic quota for India in the men’s freestyle 57kg category.
In the semi-finals, Dahiya went down fighting against Zavur Uguev of Russia, the eventual champion. The India fought back from 0-6 down but the bout ended 6-3 in favour of the Russia. In quarter-finals, Dahiya was at his best to beat Yuki Takahashi of Japan 6-1 in a show of strength. Takahashi was former silver medallist at the World Championship. He had defeated Dahiya at Asian Championships earlier this year. Dahiya also defeated 61 kg European champion Arsen of Armenia 18-6 in the pre-quarterfinals after being down 0-6.
Earlier, overcoming the disappointment of his semi-final exit, India’s ace grappler Bajrang Punia clinched the bronze medal as well. Punia, the top seed in the 65kg category, defeated fourth seed Tulga Tumur Ochir with a superb second-period comeback.
Bronze medals for Punia, Dahiya and Vinesh Phogat means India have won three medals at one edition of the senior Wrestling Worlds for the second time after 2013 (2 bronze and a silver back then). All three wrestler have ensured an Olympic ticket in their respective categories as well.