A TV in a small room in wrestler Ravi Dahiya’s house in Haryana is showing him duel with his opponent from Kazakhstan in the Tokyo Olympics. There is silence in the room, occupied by Mr Dahiya’s family members and several of their neighbours.
Then Mr Dahiya makes his winning move and the packed room erupts in cheers. There is much clapping and hugging around as the 23-year-old Indian wrestler pinned his opponent to be declared winner in the semi-final.
“It feels like Diwali today. He has made Haryana, our village Nahri and the nation proud,” the wrestler’s father Rakesh Dahiya’s told news agency ANI.
The wrestler from Haryana had begun the day with a thumping 13-2 win over Oscar Tigeros of Colombia in the round of 16 and then beat Georgi Vangelov of Bulgaria 14-4 in the quarters to seal his place in the final.
In the final scheduled for Thursday, Mr Dahiya will face the winner of the other semi-final bout between Reza Atri of Iran and Zaur Uguev of ROC.
“Ravi’s win is India’s win. It’s indeed a big deal to come so far. History will be scripted tomorrow, he will clinch a gold medal for us,” Rakesh Dahiya said.
With this win, Ravi Dahiya has assured India of at least a silver medal in wrestling.