Commonwealth Games 2018: 10 things to know about India's latest Gold medal winner, Rahul Aware
Rahul Aware became the first Indian wrestler to bring home a Gold medal when he defeated Canadian Steven Takahashi 15-7 at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Aware entered the 57 kg weight category in the 1/8 Final and beat George Ramm, Thomas Cicchini, Muhammad Bilal, and Steven Takahashi in successive rounds to eventually finish on top of the pile.
After winning the first period by just 2 points, Rahul showed his superiority in the second period by winning six more points than his competitor, eventually finishing with 15 against his opponent's 7.
Here are 10 things you need to know about India's latest medallist:
1. The 26-year-old wrestler was born in Patoda, Maharashtra, and is making his Commonwealth Games debut. He has previously participated in the World and Commonwealth Championships.
2. Aware won the Gold at the 2018 Games despite suffering an injury to his back.
3. Aware won the Bronze medal in the 2011 Asian Wrestling Championships held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Rahul moved passed the first round easily before he was defeated in the second round. He was dropped into the Repechage rounds due to his loss but beat Uzbek Nasibulla Kurbanov and moved on to the Bronze medal match, where he beat Syria's Firas Al Ali Rifaee.
4. In the 2011 Melbourne Commonwealth Championships, Rahul won the Gold medal in the 55 Kg Freestyle category, beating Gilbert Musonza and Craig McKenna of Canada and Scotland, respectively.
5. Aware also participated in the 2011 and 2014 World Championships in Istanbul and Tashkent respectively, finishing 25th and 11th.
6. Rahul was shortlisted as one of the wrestlers under Sports Ministry's 'Target Olympic Podium' programme. The programme was devised to help Indian wrestlers perform better in International events, such as the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. He missed out eventually.
7. Aware almost made the cut for the 2016 Rio Olympics but was ultimately left out of the roster with the Wrestling Federation opting to send Sandeep Tomar instead.
8. Aware faced disciplinary action in 2016 after removing himself from the contingent that was heading to a training camp in Georgia.
9. Aware had managed to come out on top in the selection trials for the same event, beating Tomar in the process. He also beat Amit Dahiya, who was the federation's second choice for Rio, ahead of Aware.
10. Aware and his team had claimed previously that there was a North Indian bias when it came to wrestling, with wrestlers from the Southern parts of India often overlooked.