India’s Ravi Kumar Dahiya clinched gold in men’s 57kg freestyle wrestling at the Commonwealth Games 2022 on Saturday to continue the good work started by Indian grapplers Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia and Co. on Friday. The Tokyo Olympics silver medallist beat Nigeria’s Ebikewenimo Welson (10-0) in the final to finish on top of the podium. This was Dahiya’s maiden CWG medal in first attempt after he had missed the Games in Gold Coast four years ago due to an injury, which kept him away from the wrestling mat for more than a year. But ever since making a comeback in late 2018, the Haryana grappler has returned with a medal in more or less every senior-level competition he has taken a part in and the Birmingham Games wasn’t different.
It was smooth sailing for the world number two right from the beginning. The gulf between his clash and others – his closest competitor in the event, Nigeria’s Welson Ebikewenimo, the eventual silver medallist, was ranked 36 places below him – was evident.
The 24-year-old finished the final in 2 minutes 16 seconds by gaining a technical superiority over his Nigerian opponent.
Ravi started off his maiden CWG medal quest with an easy victory over Suraj Singh of New Zealand in the quarterfinal. It took him just 74 seconds to gain a 10-to-nothing lead over his opponent and win the bout by technical superiority.
In the semi-final, Ravi faced a tougher challenge from Pakistan’s Ali Asad but Ravi prevailed with a 14-4 scoreline and once again won the match by technical superiority in 3 minutes and 17 seconds to advance to the gold medal match.