Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, August 4
The atmosphere at the Nahri village chopal in Sonepat district has been electric after freestyle wrestler Ravi Dahiya (57kg) took to the mat at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday morning.
Close to 500 youth and elderly of two panchayats, Nahri and Nahra, were watching their son’s progress to the final on a giant screen and dancing to the tap of dhol after every victory.
At Ravi’s home, father Rakesh Dahiya, a farmer, and mother Urmila Devi, a housewife, are overwhelmed with the cocktail of son’s success and massive support.
“The whole village and the country wants Monu (Ravi) to win the gold. We pray to God that his hard work bears fruit,” said the proud father of the Olympic medallist.
Ravi Dahiya’s younger brother Pankaj Dahiya could not come home but watched the bouts with his mates at the Chhatrasaal Stadium where he trains as a Greco Roman wrestler.
“Ravi came here much earlier. I came here three-four years ago. He has been here since he was 11 years old. Ravi started wrestling at the Hansraj Brahmchari akhada in a village where every child used to try his hand at kushti.”
Wrestling runs in the Dahiya clan’s blood. His father used to wrestle in youth but Ravi was impressed by his uncle Rajesh Dahiya’s muscular built who is currently serving as an Assistant Commandant in BSF Rajasthan.
The two panchayats of Nahri and Nahra are famed for producing wrestlers, as is almost every village in Sonepat. The village is home to two Arjuna awardee wrestlers Satveer Singh and Mahavir Singh, and two Olympians Mahavir Singh (1980 Moscow) and Amit Kumar Dahiya (2012 London). At 18, Amit held the record of being the youngest Indian wrestler to have competed at Olympics
Ravi,23, is the latest find from here but he now has an added feather of being an Olympic medallist.
“In Sonepat, Delhi’s wrestling arenas, Moni pehalwaan, as Ravi is popularly known, has climbed the ladder of success rapidly after joining the Chhatrasaal stadium. God has always been kind to him by rewarding his hard work instantaneously,” said Harjit Singh, a wrestling coach here.
He has won two gold in Asian Championships (2020,2021), bronze at 2019 World Championships in Nur Sultan, silver in World U-23 Championships in Bucharest and silver in 2015 World Junior Wrestling in Salvador da Bahia.
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