Wrestling News: The past four months have been mentally straining for athletes across the world due to covid-19. With no training or competitions in-sight, they stared at an uncertain future. But no more. As the countdown for the deferred Tokyo Olympic begins, wrestlers are slowly picking up the pace. While some are doing it by shifting bases, others are taking some time off wrestling to get clear thoughts. Olympic bound grapplers Ravi Dahiya and Deepak Punia opted for the latter.
The duo has already secured the place for the Tokyo Games. With no pressure of qualifications and time as their ally, Ravi and Deepak decided to take a trip to Rishikesh. It is good, Ravi said, as the weather in Rishikesh is cool as compared to New Delhi. “We reached yesterday. It is our holiday mode and we will be staying here for a day or two more,” the 57kg Asian Championship gold medallist told WrestlingTV.
Deepak also shared pictures of them taking a dip in Ganga on his Instagram. He wrote, “har har, Mahadev (Praise Lord Shiva)”.
Mission Tokyo Olympics
Ravi and Deepak have been training together under the tutelage of Mahabali Satpal at the Chhatrasal Akhada, New Delhi. During the entire lockdown, while Ravi had trained individually in the stadium, Deepak decided to return to his village in Jhajjar.
The Junior world champion lost his mother due to heart-attack in April. He slowly overcame the grief and began training in his the local akhada before moving back the Delhi in July.
“My mother’s death was a big shock for me. I slowly started getting back to training. I trained at a local akhada in my village during the lockdown. After returning to the Chhatrasal stadium, I can train properly,” Deepak said adding that it is nice to be among friends.
Ravi, on the other hand, trained with twin Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar during the lockdown. “Earlier, 200-250 wrestlers used to stay here. The number reduced to around 20 during the lockdown. Initially, I felt the difference, but quickly I got used to the new atmosphere. I found it to be very relaxing. You just have to eat and train (amid social distancing and other safety protocols) and worry about nothing,” he said.
“The pressure of competitions is immense. It plays on your mind in the run-up to a competition. About 10-12 days before an event, we cannot sleep properly thinking about it. Training with a relaxed mind, alongside an idol like Sushil Kumar, is the best experience one can have. It’s like off-season training, working on improving your game,” Ravi concluded