Ravi Dahiya to wrestle across 57kg and 61kg till Paris OlympicsApril 29, 2022
Olympics silver medallist and triple Asian gold medallist Ravi Kumar Dahiya will continue to compete in two different weight classes in two sets of events until Paris 2024.
Back to his usual routine after returning from Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar following a tiring journey, Ravi is clear about his plan in the next two years.
After the Tokyo Olympics, Ravi returned to competition in the Yasar Dogu Ranking Series event in Istanbul, where he landed a gold medal in 61kg in February. He followed it up with his third consecutive Asian championship gold medal (57kg) in Ulaanbaatar.
Ravi said he would continue to shuffle between 57kg and 61kg. “I will compete in 57kg in the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games as 61kg is not there in both the games. I will stick to 57kg for the Paris Olympics as well. Next year there will be qualifying events for that.
“Overall, I will participate in bigger events in 57kg and in exposure events in 61kg. This will put less pressure on my body. If you reduce weight regularly, then it increases the chances of injury. Competing in 61kg helps in getting exposure without risking injury,” Ravi told Sportstar.
Last year before the Olympics, Ravi had taken part in the Poland Open Ranking Series event in 61kg.
“It is difficult to cut weight every time, but I cannot do much (about different weight categories in different events). So I keep a watch on my diet – what to eat and when to eat.”
Even as he is delighted with his unique effort of claiming three Asian titles on the trot, Ravi is in search of excellence.
“It feels good to win a gold medal. But there is always scope for improvement. I will strive to improve upon my game and perform even better. When you get an Olympics medal, expectations of countrymen also rise.”
Ravi credited regular training for the improvement in his game. “Every time (I compete in an event) I try to learn from my mistakes. The more you participate in tournaments and the more you learn and improve, the sharper you become.”
In his bid to get better, Ravi benefits from the best of both worlds – the Chhatrasal Stadium in Delhi and the National camp in Sonipat.
“Sometimes I train at the camp, sometimes at Chhatrasal. When I go to the National camp, sparring changes (due to the presence of different sparring partners) and it is much better over there. I am comfortable at both places. I go to the camp, train there and come back to the Chhatrasal. It is hardly a 30-minute drive. But I am a little more comfortable at the Chhatrasal as I have been living here since my childhood.”
Predictably, Ravi’s unwavering focus is directed towards winning the coveted gold medal in the Olympics. “Last time I got a silver medal. So, next time my target will be to do even better. Doing better means winning the gold medal. I will try to achieve it next time (in Paris).”
In chasing his dream, Ravi, whose popularity has increased manifold after his Olympic success, tries to accommodate some engagements without letting them affect his training schedule.
“My phone generally remains switched off. Very rarely I switch it on. I try to make people understand that I cannot come to each and every event (due to my training). If I have to perform well regularly, then I have to train well regularly. Some people understand my point. I try to keep my focus on my game,” said Ravi.