On Wednesday, India’s Ravi Dahiya defeated Kazakh opponent Nurislam Sanayev at Tokyo Olympics’ wrestling event. Dahiya secured India’s fourth Olympic medal after winning the semifinal of the 57kg weight class in wrestling. However, the victory was not smooth for Dahiya as Sanayev indulged in a pretty rough method of playing the sport. Although it did not hinder his performance, Dahiya was bitten by Sanayev on his biceps. Sanayev is a two-time world wrestling championship medalist and reigning Asian champion.
The incident certainly irked many supporters of Dahiya including former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag. In a tweet posted on Wednesday, Sehwag shareda series of pictures that showed the Kazakh player biting Dahiya’s arm while the two were trying to take the other player down on the mat. Condemning the behaviour shown by Sanayev, Sehwag wrote, “How unfair is this, couldn’t hit our Ravi Dahiya’s spirit, so bit his hand. Disgraceful Kazakh loser Nurislam Sanayev. Ghazab Ravi, bahut seena chaunda kiya aapne (Well done Ravi, you have made us proud).”
How unfair is this , couldn’t hit our #RaviDahiya ‘s spirit, so bit his hand. Disgraceful Kazakh looser Nurislam Sanayev. Ghazab Ravi , bahut seena chaunda kiya aapne #Wrestling pic.twitter.com/KAVn1Akj7F— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) August 4, 2021
Several followers of Sehwag also joined him in condemning the act as some called it “extremely disgraceful.”
Extremely disgraceful 😢— VRenuka (@VRenuka9) August 5, 2021
However, such behaviour is quite frequent in the sport and was even exhibited by former wrestling Olympian Sushil Kumar who won silver medal in 2012 London Olympics. Kumar had bitten the ear of his Kazakh opponent Akhzurek Tanatrov. During the London Olympics semifinal, Kumar was trailing with 0-3 score, when he bit the ear of Tanatrov, who showed the referee the blood on his ear. However, the Kazakh player did not appeal against it.
Dahiya has been mentored by two-time Olympic medalist Kumar at Delhi’s Chhatrasal academy. The 23-year-old wrestler hails from Nahari, near Haryana’s Sonipat district. Dahiya will be competing against Russia’s Zaur Uguev for the gold medal on Thursday in the wrestling final event at Tokyo.