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"Ravi Dahiya needs to improve" – Indian coach after World Wrestling C'ships debacle

"Ravi ko sudhaar karne ki jarurat hai (Ravi needs to improve)," Indian coach Sujeet Maan said to The Bridge.

Ravi Dahiya needs to improve – Indian coach after World Wrestling Cships debacle

Ravi Dahiya (Screengrab: Sony Liv)


Abhijit Nair

Updated: 19 Sep 2022 3:05 PM GMT

India endured a tough run at the recently concluded 2022 World Wrestling Championships in Belgrade, Serbia. One of the major talking points of the event for India was the shock exit of Olympic silver medallist Ravi Dahiya.

While India returned with two bronze medals in the global event via the repechage route, Dahiya was not lucky enough to have that second shot at the podium after going down to Uzbekistan's Gulomjom Abdullaev in the men's 57kg pre-quarterfinal bout.

"Ravi ko sudhaar karne ki jarurat hai (Ravi needs to improve). It is as simple as that. At this level, you cannot take anything for granted. All the players come fully prepared for the World Championships, analysing all their opponents frame by frame using all the available technologies. If you have to last long, you have to constantly keep improving," said Sujeet Maan, the Indian men's wrestling coach in a conversation with The Bridge.

"He (Ravi) knows he has to improve and there is certainly no one more disappointed with his performance than he himself is. He has won medals at the biggest stages in past…usko pata h usse kya karna h (he knows what he has to do)," the coach added.

Could have performed a lot better

The 43-year-old Sujeet Maan, who travelled to Belgrade with the Indian contingent, maintained that the performance by India was disappointing.

"I am not satisfied with our overall performance. I personally feel we could have performed a lot better," Maan said.

"We were left wanting for more in both men's and women's sections. Thanks to Vinesh and Bajrang's comeback after those early losses…hamare paas batane ke liye kuch hai (we have something to show)," the coach added.

While Vinesh Phogat lost her very first qualification round bout against Mongolia's Khulan Batkhuyag, Bajrang Punia went down to USA's John Michael Diakomihalis in the quarterfinals.

Maan, who also works with Punia in a personal capacity, feels that if not for the unfortunate injury the now four-time medallist could have put up a better show.

"Bajrang was expected to be a gold contender, especially with Otugaro (Japan) and Rashidov (Russia) missing in action in 65kg. But the head injury during his first bout against the Cuban Alejandro pegged him back," Maan said.

"He still has it in him. The fighting spirit he possesses alone is enough to keep him going at the top level for a few more years. The way he came back after trailing in his final two bouts, you know he is hungry," he added.

Watch out for Sagar, Naveen

While Sujeet Maan is quite clearly not happy with his seniors, he was evidently impressed by the two youngsters – Sagar Jaglan and Naveen.

"Sagar aur Naveen dono badhiya kushti lade (Both Sagar and Naveen wrestled well). This was their World Championships debut for both and to reach the bronze medal match, it is a very good sign regarding the depth we have," he said.

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