Vinod Kumar Dahiya
Personal information
Nationality Australia
Born (1986-01-01) 1 January 1986 (age 35)
Khanda, Sonipat, Haryana
Height155 cm (5 ft 1 in)
Weight60 kg (132 lb)
Sport
SportWrestling
StyleGreco-Roman
ClubUnited Wrestling Club
CoachKuldip Bassi

Vinod Kumar Dahiya (born 1 January 1986), also known as Vinod Kumar, is an Indian-Australian Greco-Roman wrestler who competes in the 66 kg category.

Life and career

Dahiya was born on 1 January 1986 in the Indian village of Khanda, Sonipat in Haryana. He began wrestling in 1994, and joined Satpal Singh's coaching akhara in Delhi in 1998.[1]

In 2001, while returning home from a wrestling tournament, Dahiya was pushed out of a moving night train by two men, one of whom was the father of a rival wrestler. Dahiya was discovered in the morning by rail workers who admitted him to a hospital. The injuries left him bed-ridden for a year, during which his weight dropped to 40 kg. His family members rejected the compensation offered by the perpetrators and launched legal action against them.[1][2]

In 2009, Dahiya finished third at the Australia Cup and decided to move to Australia following Sandeep Kumar's suggestion. He gathered 17 lakh from his relatives and by taking loans, and moved to Melbourne in 2010. He trained at United Wrestling Club under Kuldip Bassi, the then president of Wrestling Australia.[1][3] Due to shortage of money, he worked as a newspaper hawker, bouncer and courier.[1][2]

Dahiya acquired Australian citizenship in 2015. He represented Australia for the first time at the 66 kg Greco-Roman event of the 2016 Oceania Wrestling Championships in New Zealand and won the gold medal.[4] By 2016, he won six national championships in Australia.[5] He won the silver medal at 2016 African & Oceania Wrestling Olympic Qualification Tournament and qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics. He thus became the second Indian-born Australian wrestler to qualify for the Olympics.[6][7] However, in July 2016, he was handed a four-year ban after failing a doping test conducted at the Olympic qualification tournament in April, and was subsequently removed from the Australian Olympic contingent.[8]

References

  1. ^ a b c d Siwach, Vinay (1 May 2016). "Vinod Kumar – Dangal wrestler, immigrant, newspaper hawker, bouncer… now Olympian from Australia". The Indian Express. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  2. ^ a b Ransom, Ian (2 June 2016). "Wrestler Vinod Kumar on track for Rio Olympics after being thrown from train". Reuters. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  3. ^ "Haryana-born wrestler Dahiya to represent Australia at Rio Olympics". Rediff. 26 April 2016. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  4. ^ Dutta, Subhasish (26 April 2016). "Indian-origin wrestler set to represent Australia at Rio Olympics". India Today. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  5. ^ Bharadwaj, Jitarth Jai; Sarwal, Amit (8 April 2016). "With no money in his pocket, he dreams to win an Olympic Gold for Australia". SBS. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  6. ^ Singh, Manpreet K.; Kainth, Shamsher (17 April 2016). "Vinod Kumar confident of bringing Olympic glory to Australia". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  7. ^ Kumari, Nidhi (1 June 2016). "From a small village in Haryana to bringing Australia on international map". Indus Age. Retrieved 9 July 2016.
  8. ^ "Australian wrestler Vinod Kumar to be axed from Olympics after doping ban". The Guardian. 15 July 2016. Retrieved 23 July 2016.