Right here is the lowdown on three wrestlers who will lead India’s problem in males’s wrestling on the Tokyo Olympics.
Ravi Kumar Dahiya (57kg)
Kind information: 2021: Silver at Poland Open; Gold at Asian championships, Kazakhstan; 2020: Gold at Asian championships, Delhi.
Predominant rivals: Two-time World champion Zaur Uguev (Rus), two-time Worlds medallists Suleyman Atli (Tur) and Nurislam Sanayev (Kaz), former Asian champion Reza Atri (Iri), former Worlds silver medallist Arsen Harutyunyan (Arm), Particular person World Cup bronze medallist Georgi Vangelov (Bul), former World and Asian champion Yuki Takahashi (Jpn), and two-time Worlds bronze medallist Erdenebatyn Bekhbayar (Mgl).
Like a lot of his friends, Ravi Kumar Dahiya – from Nahri village in Sonepat district of Haryana – shifted to the enduring Chhatrasal Stadium in Delhi on the age of 10 with hopes of changing into a well known wrestler.
All the time honest to wrestling, Ravi shone early on the world stage when he bagged a silver medal within the 55kg weight class within the World junior championships in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil, in 2015. He battled a knee harm and difficulties in getting funds to recuperate from the setback throughout his junior days earlier than catching everybody’s eye with a silver medal in 57kg within the World under-23 championships in Bucharest, Romania, in 2018.
Ravi Kumar Dahiya
A sequence of advantageous performances for 2019 Professional Wrestling League champion Haryana Hammers introduced him extra consideration. The shy grappler belonging to a farmer’s household raised his recreation to take a World championships bronze and an Olympic quota place in 57kg in Nur-Sultan the identical yr.
A busy wrestler on the mat, Ravi proved his class by successful back-to-back Asian titles in 2020 and 2021, adopted by a silver within the Poland Open. Somebody whose life revolves round wrestling, 23-year-old Ravi – a giant fan of his mentor Sushil Kumar – want to make his idol proud within the Tokyo Video games.
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Bajrang Punia (65kg)
Kind information: 2021: Gold at Matteo Pellicone Rating Collection, Italy; Silver at Asian championships, Kazakhstan; 2020: Silver at Asian championships in Delhi.
Predominant rivals: World champion Gadzhimurad Rashidov (Rus), two-time Worlds medallist Daulet Niyazbekov (Kaz), Worlds bronze medallist Ismail Musukaev (Hun), former World champion Takuto Otoguro (Jpn), double Worlds bronze medallist Alejandro Valdes (Cub), Particular person World Cup winner Vazgen Tevanyan (Arm), Olympic medallist and three-time World champion Haji Aliyev (Aze), and two-time Worlds medallist Magomedmurad Gadzhiev (Pol).
Bajrang Punia, one of many two large stars in Indian males’s wrestling at current, might have been 4 years late for his Olympic debut however the one three-time World championships medallist from the nation is unquestionably one of many extra constant performers in his weight class. This makes Bajrang one of many sturdy medal contenders within the 65kg weight class in Tokyo.
“It’s important to prepare properly to win a medal. God can’t allow you to in case you sit at dwelling. One must work exhausting,” says Bajrang Punia.
Hailing from Khudan village in Jhajjar district of Haryana, Bajrang took up wrestling at a really younger age when he did mud wrestling. Later Bajrang’s household moved to Sonepat to assist his wrestling profession.
Bajrang remained within the shadow of his mentor Yogeshwar Dutt within the preliminary part of his profession earlier than making his mark by claiming a World championships bronze medal within the 60kg in 2013.
The gritty wrestler went on to collect a number of medals within the Asian championships, Commonwealth championships, Commonwealth Video games, Asian Video games, World under-23 championships and World championships.
Bajrang skilled extra success after his swap to 65kg. His two Asian titles, Commonwealth Video games and Asian Video games gold medals, a Worlds under-23 silver and three Worlds medals have come within the final 4 years.
The nation will pin its hopes on the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Arjuna Award winner for a medal in Tokyo.
Bajrang Punia: Match and targeted on Tokyo Olympics
Deepak Punia (86kg)
Kind information: 2021: Silver at Asian championships, Kazakhstan; 2020: Fourth place at Particular person World Cup in Serbia; Bronze at Asian championships in Delhi.
Predominant rivals: World and Olympic champion Hassan Yazdani (Iri), Worlds bronze medalists Stefan Reichmuth (Sui) and Artur Naifonov (Rus), former World champion David Taylor (USA), four-time Worlds medallist Ali Shabanau (Blr), Particular person World Cup bronze medallist Osman Gocen (Tur), former Worlds silver medallists Sosuke Takatani (Jpn) and Boris Makojev (Svk).
Deepak Punia has carried ahead his success from junior to elite stage. Deepak, who’s from Chhara village of Jhajjar district in Haryana, is one other shiny product of the Chhatrasal Stadium, Delhi.
The well-built wrestler confirmed his potential early as he received the World cadet and the World junior titles in 2016 and 2019, respectively. In truth, his World junior gold was the primary by an Indian after a spot of 18 years.
Deepak graduated to the elite stage at a fast tempo and grabbed an Olympic quota place together with the silver medal in 86kg on the World championships in Nur-Sultan. He, thus, narrowly missed a uncommon treble of successful the World cadet, junior and elite crowns as he withdrew from the title conflict in Nur-Sultan owing to a leg harm.
The teen had a troublesome time in 2020 as he misplaced his mom and spent three irritating months at dwelling through the early part of the lockdown because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Nevertheless, Deepak overcame the percentages to return to aggressive wrestling. The 22-year-old claimed a silver medal within the Asian championships in 2021 to announce his intention within the lead-up to the Olympics.