Commonwealth Games 2022 wrestling: Tokyo silver medallist Ravi Dahiya strikes gold in Birmingham

Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar Dahiya won the gold medal in the men’s 57kg freestyle wrestling category at Birmingham 2022.

By Utathya Nag
Picture by 2022 Getty Images

Exactly one year and a day after his silver medal triumph at the Tokyo Olympics, India’s Ravi Kumar Dahiya won the gold medal in the men’s 57kg freestyle wrestling at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham on Saturday.

Ravi Dahiya, who is also a world championships silver medallist and a three-time Asian champion, defeated Nigeria’s Ebikewenimo Welson in the gold medal match to clinch top podium on his Commonwealth Games debut at the Coventry Stadium and Arena.

"I feel great to have won the gold medal," Ravi Kumar Dahiya said. "It is always the biggest, proudest thing for my country.

"The final match against the Nigerian was great, as he has a couple of medals from the past Commonwealth Games," the Indian wrestler pointed out. "It was really nice to win the gold medal this time."

Welson, a three-time Commonwealth Games medallist, looked to go on the attack early on but Ravi defended well. A minute into the bout, Ravi Dahiya caught hold of the Nigerian’s legs and executed a fitele to rake in eight points.

A ‘fitele’ is a move in wrestling where one grappler catches hold of their opponent’s ankles and twirls them around in quick succession to score quick points.

Welson rolled out of the ring to escape an immediate defeat but the Indian wrestler picked up two more points soon after play resumed and won by technical superiority.

Ravi Dahiya had a fairly straightforward road to the final. After getting a bye in the qualifying round, the Indian defeated New Zealand’s Suraj Singh (10-0) by technical superiority in the quarter-finals.

Pakistani grappler Asad Ali managed to score off the Indian grappler in the semis but eventually ended on the wrong side of a 14-4 scoreline as Ravi Kumar Dahiya made the final on his CWG debut.

Canada’s Darthe Capellan and Pakistan’s Asad Ali won the bronze medals in the division.

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