Rahul Aware, 18, aimed for gold but had to settle for silver at the World Junior Wrestling Championship at Ankara, Turkey. He won the only medal for India in freestyle 55kg weight category. Navjot Kaur of Punjab added another medal by winning the bronze in the 67kg freestyle category.
“I was expecting gold but it was hard luck that I lost to Iran’s Hassan Rahimi,” said Aware, while talking to HT from SAI Centre in Sonepat. He is attending the national camp for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Watching the junior grappler’s progress, Aware can be called the next big thing of Indian wrestling.
Being a junior player, Aware recently clinched the gold in the senior national championship as well as the German Grand Prix International championship.
At the German Grand Prix, Olympic bronze medallist Sushil Kumar had made a comeback by winning the gold medal.
“Earlier Maharashtra used to be a powerhouse of wrestling but for quite some time it had lost its glory. I want that it should again be seen as a force to reckon with in wrestling,” said Aware, who won the gold for the state in the senior nationals after a gap of 32 years.
His coach, Olympian Harish Chander Biragarad, was the last one to win gold for Maharashtra among the seniors.