According to his father Balasaheb Aware, 27-year-old Rahul Aware’s journey to being a good wrestler began with his hot-headed nature. Rahul beat 2017 Pan-America champion Tyler Lee Graff in the 61kg bronze play-off to win a bronze medal at the 2019 edition of the World Wrestling Championships.
After striking gold in the 57 kg category at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Indian freestyle wrestler Rahul competed in the 61 kg category at Nur-Sultan. His bronze ensured India’s best-ever medal tally at the World event and handed his father the happiest moment of his life. A wrestler himself, Balasaheb, traced the roots of his wrestling career back to his school days.
“Rahul’s journey in wrestling began with his hot-headed nature. Rahul used to quarrel a lot when he was in school. He was a short-tempered kid. Everyday some or the other villager would come to me with his complaints. It was then when I recognised the wrestler in him. His hot-headed nature helped him become a good wrestler,” Balasaheb told PTI.
Rahul’s father never made it to the national or international platform because of a lack of coaching, but he now runs a free training centre for budding wrestlers in the village. Balasaheb recalled the old days when he fed the family by wrestling at fairs and called on his son to work harder despite performing well enough to deserve a gold medal.
"I was also a wrestler but due to lack of guidance, I could not excel. I used to travel and had stayed away from my family until 1985-86. During that period, I participated in many a wrestling bouts at various fairs. We survived like this, and today such a big win of Rahul makes the entire town happy,” Balasaheb added.
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