Ravi Kumar Dahiya makes stunning comeback to international wrestling with a bronze medal at Grand Prix De France 2024

Ravi Kumar Dahiya's participation in this event marks his return to international competition since the 2022 world championships.

Ravi Kumar Dahiya in Tokyo Olympics (Credits- Twitter)
By Pushkar Pandey | Jan 21, 2024 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Ravi Kumar Dahiya, an Olympic silver medallist from Tokyo, returned to wrestling with a bronze medal victory at the Grand Prix De France Henri Deglane 2024 event in Nice, France, on a recent Saturday. Due to an injury in 2023, the Indian athlete was unable to participate in international competitions. He has returned and secured third place in the men’s 61kg freestyle category, defeating Kairat Amirtayev of Kazakhstan with a score of 10-4.

Despite falling behind early in the match with a 2-4 score, Dahiya tapped into his rich experience to take the win. He had already shown his skill earlier in the tournament by defeating Germany’s Julien Zinser with a commanding 13-2 victory and then besting Zangar Kabylbekov of Kazakhstan 12-6 in the quarterfinals. Unfortunately, Dahiya suffered a setback with a 6-3 loss to France’s Arman Eloyan in the semifinals, but he rebounded to secure the bronze.

Before this, Dahiya’s last international event was the 2022 World Wrestling Championships. His participation in the Asian Championships in April 2023 was scrapped when he injured his right knee during practice in February of that year. He suffered an ACL and MCL injury while competing in the national trials for the Asian Games in July.

His condition worsened and he was unable to participate in any games for the remainder of 2023. As a result, Dahiya also missed the World Wrestling Championships in Belgrade, a key event leading up to the Paris Olympics 2024. Looking forward, Dahiya is set to compete in a lighter category, moving from 61kg to 57kg. He is expected to take part in the Asian Olympic Games Qualifier in Kyrgyzstan this April, followed by the World Olympic Qualifiers in Turkey come May.

More about Ravi Kumar Dahiya

Dahiya’s love for wrestling began in his early teens. His notable achievements include a silver medal from the 2015 Junior World Wrestling Championships held in Salvador de Bahia, Brazil, in the 55kg freestyle category. After recovering from an injury in 2017, Dahiya claimed silver at the 2018 World U23 Wrestling Championship in Bucharest, Romania, which was India’s only medal at that event.

Ravi Kumar Dahiya was a key player for Haryana Hammers in the 2019 Pro Wrestling League, contributing to the team’s championship win. During the 2019 Asian Wrestling Championships in Xi’an, Dahiya finished joint fifth after narrowly missing a bronze. His run at the 2019 World Championships was impressive – he defeated notable champions such as Arsen Harutyunyan and Yuki Takahashi, qualifying for the 2020 Summer Olympics.

Although he didn’t win against Zaur Uguev in the semifinals, he triumphed over Iran’s Reza Atri to take bronze. His performance led to his inclusion in the Indian Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports’ Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) in late 2019. In 2022, Dahiya clinched a gold medal at the Yasar Dogu Tournament, facing off and winning against Uzbekistan’s Gulomjon Abdullaev in the finals.

However, at the 2022 World Wrestling Championships, he was unable to get past the quarterfinals, suffering a loss to the same rival, Abdullaev. An almost year-long hiatus due to his knee injury didn’t break Dahiya’s spirit. After a taxing period of recovery, he’s once again proving his mettle on the wrestling stage.

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