Ravi Kumar Dahiya, 23, is an Indian freestyle wrestler who has won several medals at world championships. He most recently won the gold medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in the 57 kg weight category. He also won a silver in the same category at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Dahiya, like many other mainstream wrestlers, is from Haryana and has worked his way up with sheer hard work. Since the age of 10, Dahiya received the best possible training from coach Satpal Singh at the Chhatrasal Stadium in North Delhi. Satpal Singh, who is a 1982 Asian Games gold medallist, was the brain behind making Chhatrasal Stadium, the best wrestling stadium in the country.
For more than a decade, Dahiya’s farmer father Rakesh Dahiya used to travel everyday from Nahri in Haryana’s Sonipat district, to the stadium to deliver milk and fruits, which were part of his son’s diet.
In 2015, Dahiya won the silver medal in the 55 kg freestyle category at Junior World Wrestling Championships. He then struggled with an injury that kept him out of action for more than a year. But, he made a spectacular comeback with a silver medal at the 2018 World U23 Wrestling Championship in Bucharest.
The 2020 Asian Wrestling Championships in New Delhi, where he won a gold, was a high point in his career. Ravi Kumar had withdrawn from a training-cum-competition event in Poland after an injury scare in the run up to Tokyo Olympics but looked fighting fit in his initial rounds at the Olympics.
In the quarters, Dahiya defeated Bulgaria’s Vangelov Valentinov 14-4 via technical superiority to reach the semi-final. He then lost the final 4-7 to Zavur Uguev of the Russian Olympic Committee. He participated in the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. He won the gold medal by defeating Nigeria’s Ebikewenimo Welson 10-0.