Ravi Kumar made history on Wednesday after he defeated Kazakhstan’s Nurislam Sanayev in the 57kg men’s freestyle event that took place in Japan. The result meant that Kumar is now the second Indian wrestler who has made it to the Olympics, the first one being Sushil Kumar at the 2021 London Olympics.
Singh mentioned that the organization had no doubt that Kumar would make it to the finals given his track record. The wrestler had won gold at the Asia Championships for two consecutive years and had finished bronze at the 2019 World Championship.
“We were very confident that he would be qualifying for the final, there was absolutely no doubt, we had full faith in him. It was a great bout. Coming back from 2-9 was very difficult. However, because of his exceptional performance, it felt absolutely effortless,” he said.
His extraordinary performance has been praised by the Wrestling Federation of India’s (WFI) president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. Ravi Kumar knocked out Sanayev in the semi-final round 9-2 to proceed to the finals where he will be facing two-time world champion Russia’s Zavur Uguev. The final round will be taking place on Thursday.
The 2012 London Olympics produced some star wrestlers. When asked about whether the same success can be replicated once again at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, Singh said that he is confident that the Indian wrestlers will more than just win, they will break the 2012 record. The bar has been set high this year.
He further added that winning a silver won’t count as an achievement. Only a gold medal can make him happy.
“Lots of people have asked me whether what was done at the London Olympics will be repeated this year, but I would like to say that if we win silver it would mean that our result has been zero. If we win silver, I won’t be happy, as the wrestlers would’ve not shown any improvement. “