'I tried my all and gave it my best but there were some shortcomings, for that I want to apologise. Going forward, I shall practice as much as possible and make the country proud,' was the first statement from India's first Tokyo medallist in wrestling - Ravi Dahiya.
The 57kg category wrestler lost the gold medal match 7-4 to Zavur Uguev on Thursday but despite finishing on the podium of his Olympics debut, Ravi apologised to the country for not winning the elusive gold.
'I had come here wanting to win the gold medal. The wrestling federation had a lot of hopes from me. They wanted a gold from me because we had won a silver medal before. So, I had hoped to win a gold.' he added.
The scenes in Nahri village in Sonepat district of Haryana though were very different. Their son had, after all, gone where very few Indians had and the medal around Ravi's neck on Thursday evening was also reward for his father Rakesh Dahiya who had made it his life's mission to make his son a wrestler.
'I used to take milk and butter to the Chhatrasal stadium for him in the morning. I would walk 8-10 kilometres sometimes. I used to work on my farm day and night and at times I would stay out all night. I worked hard and God made it my target. I worked hard. If my harvest didn't do well, I would borrow money to help Ravi. When Ravi started to win medals at the junior level, my harvest also started to improve. God listened to our prayers. This proves that honesty and hard work is rewarded,' he told The Quint.
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