World wrestling bronze medalist Aware puts Maha mud tradition on the mat
For Aware, this world championship medal in 61kg category free style comes after he won the gold at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in the 57kg categoryUpdated: Oct 01, 2019 16:43 IST
Pune Rahul Aware’s bronze medal at the recently concluded World Wrestling Championship at Nur Sultan in Kazakhstan brought much joy and stoked the pride of wrestlers in Maharashtra and Pune.
Back in the city, Aware is enjoying couple of days rest at the International Sports centre, a.k.a Kaka Pawar’s talim in Ambegaon, Katraj.
For Aware, this world championship medal in 61kg category free style comes after he won the gold at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in the 57kg category.
“Our wrestlers are talented, but lack of mat practice makes their journey harder at the international level. We still give lots of preference to mud wrestling. We should practice on mud, but more focus needs to be given to mat,” said Aware.
The Beed-born grappler has been wrestling at the senior level for the last 10 years.
“In Maharashtra, we still follow the ‘talim culture’, and these centres lack the advanced technology available at modern gymnasiums, and also foreign coaches and trainers. Wrestlers from our state don’t even know what all these technologies mean. This is the one big reason we fall behind,” adds the 27-year old.
Haryana doing it better
When it comes to winning wrestling medals at the Olympics, Maharashtra needs to go back to 1952, when Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav won the bronze at the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Finland. After that, the state has failed to produce an Olympic medal so far.
“We always had good bunch of wrestlers from the state, but what we lacked is good training facilities and infrastructure and support from government. Our wrestlers are not financially strong so if they get support from the government they can definitely win medals at the higher level,” says Kaka Pawar, the patron-in-chief of the Pune talim who has been coaching wrestlers in Pune since 2006.
“Maharashtra government recently started supporting wrestlers, but we are lacking when it comes to policies like Haryana has adopted - ensuring sports persons’ financial status us secure. Once an athlete feels secure, it helps to improve his/her performances,” believes Kaka Pawar.
First Published: Sep 29, 2019 15:25 IST