From a hot-headed kid to a wrestling world championship medalist - the Rahul Aware story

Rahul Aware's bronze medal took India’s tally to five medals at the World Wrestling Championship, its best-ever performance at the tournament.

Rahul Aware was in complete control of the bout that won him the World Wrestling Championships bronze medal.   -  AFP

Rahul Aware beat 2017 Pan- America champion Tyler Lee Graff in the 61kg bronze play-off to win a bronze medal and ensure India’s best-ever medal haul at the World Wrestling Championships.

For his father Balasaheb Aware, it was "the happiest moment" of his life.

"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 till 1985-86. During that period, I participated in many a wrestling bouts at various fairs,” he reminisced. “We survived like this, and today such a big win of Rahul makes the entire town happy.”

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“Rahul’s journey in wrestling began with his hot-headed nature,” Balasaheb recalled.

“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.”

He never regretted his decision.

Balasaheb, who runs a free training centre for budding wrestlers in the village, said Rahul deserved a gold medal but added that “he needs to work harder.”