Ravi Kumar Dahiya is an Indian freestyle wrestler who is known for winning the gold medal at the 2020 Asian Wrestling Championship in New Delhi. The win helped him in securing a place in the Tokyo Olympics 2021.
Ravi Kumar Dahiya was born on Saturday, 12 December 1998 (age 23 years; as of 2021) in Nahri, Sonipat, Haryana. Ravi’s interest in the field of wrestling started building up at a very early age and his father enrolled him in Chhatrasal Stadium, Delhi. He trained under the guidance of one of the most renowned wrestling coaches, Satpal Singh.
Height: 5′ 7″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Weight(approx.): 57 kg
Ravi’s father’s name is Rakesh Kumar Dahiya. His mother’s name is not known. His father is a farmer who works in rented paddy fields.
Ravi Kumar started his training at the age of ten when his father enrolled him at the Chhatrasal Stadium in New Delhi. He started his practice under the guidance of the 1982 Asian Games gold medalist, Satpal Singh. Ravi made his international debut with the 2015 Junior Wrestling Championship in Salvador da Bahia. In 2019, he participated in the 2019 Asian Wrestling Championship in Xi’an, China. He stood fifth in the competition as he lost the match for the bronze medal. In 2020, during the trials for the Senior Asian Championship, Ravi Kumar Dahiya qualified for the 57 kg weight category after he dominated Pankaj from Air Force by defeating him with a score of 10-0. Ravi managed to get a gold medal at the 2020 Asian Wrestling Championships in New Delhi. In June 2021, Ravi Dahiya participated in the Poland Open in Warsaw and defeated Gulomjon Abdullaev in the opening round. However, in the final round, Uzbekistan’s Gulomjon Abdullaev defeated Ravi Dahiya in the 61 kg final, and Ravi had to settle for a silver medal.
- Silver medal in 2015 World Junior Wrestling Championship (56 kg)
- Silver medal in 2018 World U23 Wrestling Championship (57 kg)
- Bronze medal in 2019 World Wrestling Championship (57 kg)
- Gold medal in 2020 Asian Wrestling Championship (57 kg)
- Gold medal in 2021 Asian Wrestling Championship (57 kg)
- 2021: Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award
Ravi Kumar’s favourite wrestler is Sushil Kumar.
- Ravi’s father, Rakesh Dahiya, is a farmer and he used to travel every day to Chhatrasal Stadium from his village to give milk and fruits to Ravi to make sure that he gets a proper diet during his training. He traveled every day for almost ten years to support Ravi’s career choice.
- In 2017, Ravi got injured during a practice session and he had to get proper treatment for the injury. He was advised to avoid wrestling for almost a year. In 2018, he made a comeback by participating in the 2018 World U23 Wrestling Championship, and he ended the series with a silver medal in the 57 kg weight category.
- Apart from national and international games, Ravi also participated in the 2019 Pro Wrestling League where he represented Haryana Hammers, and he remained undefeated throughout the league.
- Ravi Kumar was preparing for the 2020 Summer Olympics for which he fought several qualifier rounds. He defeated the European wrestling champion Arsen Harutyunyan in a qualifier match. He then fought against the 2017 World Champion Yuki Takahashi and won the quarterfinal match. However, during the semifinal round, Ravi Lost the match to Zaur Uguev, a gold medalist and defending champion of the 2019 World Wrestling Championship.
- Ravi is a part of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) initiative that was launched by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to encourage more and more athletes to train well for the Olympics and other tournaments.
- During an interview with the coaches of Chhatrasal Stadium, a senior coach Virender Kumar talked about Ravi and said-
His family is very poor. Despite that, his father would somehow manage to travel to Delhi with milk and fruits for him. We knew that he was taking loans to pay for his son’s diet also. So when it was needed, the senior wrestlers in Chhatrasal and even the coaches would contribute what they could. We knew this boy was something special.”
- Ravi Kumar gave an interview to The Hindu during which he talked about a simple thought that he is following for the Tokyo Olympics. He said-
It’s the biggest event. But it’s just another event. I have fought with most of the wrestlers in the field. I don’t need to take pressure.”
- After his training sessions, Ravi spends some time with his coach and prepares for the fight by watching the videos of his opponents. While talking about this, Ravi said-
Everything is available on the internet. I watch my rivals’ bouts and devise my game plans accordingly. Similarly, they must be watching my bouts.”
- In June 2021, the Wrestling Federation of India nominated Deepak Punia, Anshu Malik, and Ravi Kumar Dahiya for the Arjuna award.
- Ravi Kumar was inspired to join wrestling because of the Olympic medal winner wrestlers Yogeshwar Dutt and Sushil Kumar.
- Apart from wrestling, Ravi Kumar loves playing basketball.