Rediff.com  » Sports » 'Maybe I was good enough for silver only this time'

'Maybe I was good enough for silver only this time'

Source: PTI
August 05, 2021 22:22 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

'I did not come to Tokyo for a silver medal. It will not give me satisfaction.'

India's Ravi Kumar Dahiya poses with his silver medal from the men's  57kg Olympics Freestyle wrestling during the victory ceremony, at Makuhari Messe Hall in Chiba, Japan, on Thursday.

IMAGE: India's Ravi Kumar Dahiya poses with his silver medal from the men's 57kg Olympics Freestyle wrestling during the victory ceremony, at Makuhari Messe Hall in Chiba, Japan, on Thursday. Photograph: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Gracious in defeat, young Indian wrestler Ravi Dahiya said he perhaps deserved only a silver medal at the Olympics and will strive to improve and complete the unfinished task of winning gold at the 2024 Paris Games.

 

Speaking after his 57kg final on Thursday, the 23-year-old Dahiya said a silver medal will never give him satisfaction even though his performance would mean a lot for Indian wrestling.

"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 (Zavur) Uguev was a better wrestler today," Dahiya said from the Japanese capital.

"I could not achieve what I wanted to," he added, the disappointment palpable in his voice.

Dahiya tried every trick to breach the defence of World champion Uguev but the Russian wrestler stayed solid in his defence, never allowing the Indian to launch his famously 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," the two-time reigning Asian champion 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," rued Satpal, who has coached Dahiya since he was 12.

Zavur Uguev celebrates winning the gold medal, while a dejected Ravi Dahiya reacts after losing the bout.

IMAGE: Zavur Uguev celebrates winning the gold medal, while a dejected Ravi Dahiya reacts after losing the bout. Photograph: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

When told that his silver-winning effort also means a lot to Indian wrestling, Dahiya did not seem excited.

"Wo to theek hai (that’s fine) but I can't sit on a silver. I have to stay focussed and work on my technique and get ready for the next Olympics Games," he said.

His father Rakesh and his family have made a lot of sacrifices to get him to this stage.

Rakesh still works on leased fields to run the household.

A windfall awaits as the 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 pressurise 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."

His village Nahri had been waiting for an Olympic medal, hoping that it will change the destiny of its habitants.

Dahiya said his village deserves 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.

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Source: PTI© Copyright 2021 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.

https://www.rediff.com/cricket/t20-worldcup-2021

T20 World Cup 2021