Aman Sehrawat Overcomes Mental Hurdle to Defeat Ravi Dahiya in Olympic Qualifier Trials

Aman Sehrawat Overcomes Mental Hurdle to Defeat Ravi Dahiya in Olympic Qualifier Trials

The Commonwealth Games trials proved to be a turning point for 20-year-old wrestler Aman Sehrawat. Facing Olympic silver medalist Ravi Dahiya, Aman suffered a humiliating 10-0 defeat. However, this setback ignited a fire within him, as he realized the need to overcome the mental pressure that had hindered his performance.

Inspired by Dahiya, Aman had always looked up to him as a mentor and guide. But to achieve his Olympic dream, he knew he had to break free from the reverence he held for his idol. Since the trials, Aman has meticulously studied the replay of that match, identifying his weaknesses and vowing to avoid repeating the same mistakes.

“I realized I was not competing with a free mind,” Aman said. “I was playing with the pressure of competing against an Olympic medalist. He was dictating the pace, and I was simply getting drawn into his gameplan.”

To prepare for the Olympic qualifiers, Aman stopped sparring with Dahiya and focused on improving his technique and mental fortitude. He drew inspiration from Dahiya’s journey, knowing that if his mentor could overcome adversity to win an Olympic medal, so could he.

“Beating him in the trials was not easy,” Aman admitted. “I have not gone a single day without watching the replay of the CWG trials, including today. I worked on my weaknesses and stopped sparring with him. We were training with different partners.”

Their similar wrestling styles resulted in a thrilling high-scoring bout in the Olympic qualifier trials, where Aman emerged victorious with a narrow 14-13 margin. Despite his triumph, Aman acknowledged Dahiya’s struggles after returning from injury.

“You know it is not easy when you have surgery and do not compete enough,” Aman said. “Ravi gained weight after injury, and it has taken him time to return to the mat.”

Aman is now determined to secure an Olympic quota and continue the legacy of his weight class, which has produced renowned wrestlers like Yogeshwar Dutt and Ravi Dahiya.

Similarly, 22-year-old Sujeet Kalkal carries the weight of representing India in the 65kg category, previously dominated by Bajrang Punia. Despite not facing Punia in the trials, Sujeet displayed composure and defeated Rohit by superiority in the final.

“I have been working on this trial for a long time,” Sujeet said. “I won titles in National Games and National Championships. So, I kept giving myself small goals and prepared along the way for the trials.”

Sujeet’s technical prowess and international experience, including victories over world-class wrestlers, give him confidence in his ability to succeed on the international stage.

“This is a weight class where you need speed, stamina, strength, everything,” Sujeet said. “I am young and still developing my strength and improving day by day. My game is technical like most international competitors.”