Aurangabad: Balasaheb Aware recalls the day he identified a wrestler in his "hot-headed" son and decided to channelise that raw aggression into sport. He never regretted his decision.
On Sunday, that "fighter-cock" boy from a nondescript village in the Marathwada region of Maharashtra who has grown into a brawny Rahul Aware, did his country proud by clinching a bronze at the World Wrestling Championship.
The grappler outclassed Tyler Lee Graff, the 2017 Pan-America champion, 11-4 in the 61-kg bronze play-off in the bout.
"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, himself a wrestler, told PTI from Patoda village in Beed district.
"Rahul's journey in wrestling began with his hot-headed nature," he recalled.
Balasaheb, who runs a free training centre for budding wrestlers in the village, said Rahul deserved a gold medal. "But for that he need to work harder," he added.
But that nonetheless meant that Balasaheb was not celebrating.
"Rahul's historic win is the happiest moment for me. 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.
Balasaheb added that there were days when his annual family income used to be Rs 15,000.
"We survived like this, and today such a big win of Rahul makes the entire town happy," he said.
Updated Date: Sep 22, 2019 23:35:20 IST