Indian wrestler Ravi Kumar beat Bulgaria’s Georgi Vangelov 14-4 on technical superiority to reach the semifinals in the men’s 57kg at the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday.
Ravi’s compatriot Deepak Punia beat China’s Zushen Lin 6-3 on points to advance to the last four. Ravi will face Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan in the semis while Deepak will square off against David Morris of the USA.
Earlier, Ravi beat Oscar Urbano of Colombia 13-2 by technical superiority Round-of-16.
Ravi took an early 3-2 lead in the first half. In the second half, Ravi upped the ante and raced to a 13-2 lead.
Like many of his peers, Ravi Kumar – from Nahri village in the Sonepat district of Haryana – shifted to the iconic Chhatrasal Stadium in Delhi at the age of 10 with hopes of becoming a well-known wrestler.
A series of fine performances for 2019 Pro Wrestling League champion Haryana Hammers brought him attention. He raised his game to take a World championships bronze and an Olympic quota place in 57kg in Nur-Sultan the same year.
A busy wrestler on the mat, Ravi proved his class by winning back-to-back Asian titles in 2020 and 2021, followed by a silver in the Poland Open. Someone whose life revolves around wrestling, 23-year-old Ravi – a big fan of his mentor Sushil Kumar – would like to make his idol proud in the Tokyo Games.