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Wrestler Rahul Aware vows to return stronger for World Championships, says he missed Asian Games trials to save his knee

New Delhi: Commonwealth Games gold medallist Rahul Aware said that he skipped the wrestling trials for the Asian Games on the advice of his doctor, and expressed confidence to come back strongly for the World Championship trials.

It was on the insistence of Aware that the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) had delayed the re-trials in the 57kg category and scheduled it for 26 June, but the Maharashtra wrestler's old left-knee problem flared up days before the trials.

Rahul Aware celebrates after winning the gold-medal bout against Canada's Steven Takahashi in the freestyle 57 kg category at Commonwealth Games 2018. AFP/ File

Rahul Aware celebrates after winning the gold-medal bout against Canada's Steven Takahashi in the freestyle 57 kg category at Commonwealth Games 2018. AFP/ File

An MRI scan, a copy of which is with PTI, revealed that there is a partial tear/strain in Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) with minimum joint effusion, which has ruled him out of action for three weeks amid a perception that he missed the trials on purpose.

"Why would I miss trials when it was delayed on my request by the WFI. And I have a good record against all these wrestlers, I have beaten them a number of times, so why would I be scared of anyone. The doctor told me that it will be a risk if you compete and if anything goes wrong, it will require surgery to heal, that's why I had to miss trials," Aware told PTI from Bengaluru.

"There is always a tight contest between me and Amit Dahiya but I have a superior record against all wrestlers who appeared in trials on Tuesday. There was no competition for me."

"And it took me 10 long years to win a CWG gold medal, I felt ready for Asian Games, so why would I miss it?," he asked.

Aware though felt his was a genuine case for exemption.

"If I had no quality, I would not have endured such a long period."

Sandeep Tomar, in an exciting battle, prevailed over Utkarsh Kale to clinch the 57kg spot in the Indian men's squad for the Asian Games, scheduled in Indonesia from 18 August to 2 September.

The 26-year-old said after three-week rehabilitation, he will begin practice and strive to make the Indian squad for the World Championship in the 61kg category.

"I have told WFI president that I would compete for Worlds and he said okay. So I will come back and fight for a place in the 61kg category," Aware, also a bronze medallist at the 2011 Tashkent Asian Championship, said.

The WFI has planned the World Championship trials in three categories (61kg, 65kg and 74kg) after the Asian Games.

Wrestlers like Utkarsh Kale and Ravi Kumar, who could not clear the trials for the 57kg category for Asian Games, are also expected to fight for a place on the Worlds in 61kg.

The World Championship is scheduled to be held in Budapest from 20-28 October.


Updated Date: Jun 27, 2018 15:14 PM

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