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Tokyo Olympics: India inches closer to London 2012 tally with Dahiya’s silver medal

The silver won by Ravi Kumar Dahiya was the fifth medal for India at Tokyo Olympics (Image courtesy: Twitter/@AmitShah)

India's dream of finding its only second individual Olympic gold medal winner after shooter Abhinav Bindra came painstakingly close at Makuhari Messe in Tokyo on Thursday before wrestler Ravi Kumar Dahiya fell at the last hurdle, losing his 57kg freestyle bout final to Russian Zaur Uguev at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

The 23-year-old from the Nahri village of Sonipat district in Haryana was also vying to become the first Indian wrestler to grab an Olympic gold but Uguev of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) made sure that Dahiya had to settle with a silver, only the second ever won by India at the Olympics. Before him, Sushil Kumar had also lost in the final and had to settle for a silver at the 2012 London Olympics.

Initially disappointed at the youngster not grabbing the gold, a few hundred people who had gathered to watch the final bout on the big screen at his village back home celebrated the achievement with the wrestler's family. And, so did the rest of the country.

Dahiya's was the fifth medal for India at Tokyo Olympics after Mirabai Chanu (silver), shuttler P V Sindhu (bronze), boxer Lovlina Borgohain (bronze) and the bronze won by the Indian men's hockey team earlier on Thursday.  

A two-time Asian champion, Dahiya had lost to world champion Uguev in the semifinals of the 2019 World Championships as well.

India's hopes of bagging another medal in wrestling on Thursday also fell flat when Deepak lost the bronze narrowly.

Punia was seconds away from winning the medal but a last ditch takedown from San Marino's Myles Amine  resulted in a 2-4 loss for the Indian.

Earlier in the day, Vinesh Phogat, regarded as a big medal hope in the women's wrestling event, lost her freestyle 53kg category quarterfinal bout to Vanesa Kaladzinskay of Belarus by fall.

There is, however, still much hope of India finishing the Tokyo Olympic campaign with more than six medals won at the London 2012 Games, the country's best ever outing in the world's biggest sporting extravaganza.

While the Indian women's hockey team will take on Great Britain in their bronze medal match on Friday, wrestlers Bajrang Punia (men’s freestyle 65kg category) and Seema Bisla (women’s 50kg category) also begin their campaign in the last stage of the ongoing edition.

On Saturday, 23-year-old Neeraj Chopra will be gunning for a medal after becoming the first Indian to enter the javelin throw finals with a superb show in the qualification round.

Read More: Tokyo Olympics bronze – the moment Indian hockey had been waiting for decades has arrived