Wrestling News: Ravi Dahiya has resumed mat training at Chhatrasal stadium and says that it is proving beneficial to his quest for the Olympic medal. The 23-year-old wrestler has been staying at the famed wrestling academy since the lockdown due to covid was enforced on March 22. And after three months of individual training, he has now started practising with dummies. “It feels good to train my moves on the mat. I had been doing individual training but now returning to the playing field is a great experience”.
Ravi is amongst the four wrestlers who have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics which have been postponed to next year due to the pandemic. He says that by resuming mat training he has already taken a step ahead of many of his competitors in the 57kg weight class. “Yes, sparring is not allowed and we are following the government guidelines and therefore have resorted to training with dummies. Sparring would help us improve a lot but dummy training is not bad too,” adding that dummy has made him practice new moves without worrying about injuries.
No homemade butter, ghee amid covid lockdown
Ravi’s father Rakesh Dahiya for past 13 years travelled 35km from his village in Sonepat to deliver milk, ghee, butter and other products to fulfill the wrestler’s diet. But due to the COVID-19 lockdown, it has now stopped. “When the lockdown was imposed, initially my father used to travel to the venue every day from Nahri (village). But as more restrictions came into force and with the rise in numbers of cases in Delhi, I told him to stay back at home,” adding that he has talked to a dairy farmer nearby until things get normal.
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Learning wrestling moves from the best
Until training resumes at full scale at Chhatrasal Akhada, twin Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar has donned the coaching cap. “He is no less than a myth. It is very difficult to win one Olympic medal and he has two. He won his first Olympic medal when I was just 11. He never misses his training no matter the situation. It is an inspiration to all the young wrestlers,” the world medallist said.
The grappler will be playing his first Olympics when the games land in Tokyo next year. He confirmed India’s quota in 57kg freestyle after winning bronze at the Nur-Sultan world championships. With one year to go, Dahiya is now learning the “art of wrestling” from his senior-counterpart.
“He comes and trains with us in the morning and evening. Post-training, he would give me tips on how to keep improving my techniques. Leg-defence has always been a concern for Indian wrestlers. And now, with time as our ally, he is helping me improve it. He would personally demonstrate the moves to us keeping social distance,” the Asian champion concluded.