This news will come as a huge surprise for the Indian Wrestling fans. The 2019 World Championships bronze medallist Ravi Dhaiya has pulled out of 57kg category of the Rome Ranking series event. Dhaiya who is currently ranked number 3 in the UWW world rankings in the category decided to play in the Non-Olympic category of 61kg in Rome. It is worth noting that Dhaiya qualified for Tokyo 2020 in the 57kg freestyle. Not only this, in the recently conducted trials by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI), Ravi competed and won the trials in 57kg itself. Even when the WFI announced their squad for the Rome Ranking series event, he was shown as 57kg athlete. But the last-minute switch to 61kg Non-Olympic category has taken everyone by surprise.
WrestlingTV reached out to Dhaiya in Rome and he confirmed the development. “Yes it is correct I will play in 61kg here in the Rome ranking series. I don’t want to reduce my weight at the stage as my entire focus is on the Asian Championships in Delhi where I will come back to my original weight in the 57kg “
WrestlingTV also spoke to the federation about the Ravi’s last minute decision who confirmed that Dhaiya has taken permission to play in 61kg instead of 57kg. “He informed us about this shift to 61kg as he doesn’t want to break his weight at this stage. It will be difficult for anyone to break their weight twice in a gap of 30 days. He will come back to 57kg in the Asian Championships”, said Vinod Tomar, the Office Secretary of WFI.
As the wrestlers world over are concentrating on the Olympic weight categories, competition in the Non-Olympic category of 61kg will not be that tough as only 3 more wrestlers other than Dhaiya will be in the fray in the category, out of which 2 are from Kazakhstan. The biggest challenge for Dhaiya will come from Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan who like Dhaiya won a bronze medal at the 2019 world championships in NUR-SULATN