New Delhi: After winning a gold medal in the 57 kg category at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, while many sports persons came back to bask in the spotlight, Ravi Dahiya, India’s Golden Boy of wrestling, had already set his sights on the World Championships and winged his way to Russia to begin preparations for his quest for gold.
Based in Russia since August 18, Dahiya finds himself in peak mental and physical shape to go all the way in the World Championships, beginning in Belgrade from September 10, 2022. And, true to the adage that “A Sportsman’s Journey never ends” he is then aiming for a gold medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games, which have been postponed and will be held in September 2023.
“My only aim in life as a sports person is to bring laurels to my country and my immediate goals are to win gold medals at the World Championship and the Asian Games,” says Dahiya, adding that it would also be the ideal preparation and buildup towards the Paris Olympics in 2024.
Ravi travelled to Russia with his Indian wrestler and coach Arun Kumar and has been training with Russian wrestlers and coaches at the academy in Vladikavkaz, the same place where Olympic Gold medalist from Russia, Zaurbek Sidakov trains. Dahiya has put in some invaluable training time at the academy and is raring to face the upcoming challenges.
The expectations are high from Dahiya as he is expected to better his bronze medal winning performance from the last World Championships in 2019 and also make amends for losing out on the gold in the Tokyo Olympics. Having positioned himself as the premier wrestler in the country, a medal is expected from Ravi every time he steps on to the mat, but this does not put pressure on him, instead motivates him to train harder to live up to the expectations.
“For me, the high expectations of my fans is actually their love and support towards me and only motivates me to do better. There is no pressure on me to perform,” says Dahiya. This confidence stems from the hard work Dahiya has put in, which will be tested to the hilt against the world’s top wrestlers when he begins his campaign in the World Championships on September 17.
Jitesh Mehta, co-founder Birbal S&E, the agency that manages Dahiya, said, "Ravi is a National youth icon who embodies champion qualities of high performance, excellence, discipline and trust. He has been in outstanding form since winning a silver at the Olympics, has won a hat-trick of golds and broken major records at the international level. He is focussed on the World Championships and wants to win that ultimate prize for India."