NUR-SULTAN (Kazakhstan), September 22: Rahul Aware defeated Tyler Graff of USA 11-4 in men’s 61kg World Wrestling Championships bronze medal bout in Nur Sultan on Sunday. Rahul Aware was trailing 0-2 early in the bout but came back strongly to turn things around. At the first break, Rahul took a two-point lead over Graff and in the last three minutes of the bout, Rahul extended his lead by picking up seven points in one move to ensure India of another medal in the prestigious tournament. After Rahul’s bronze medal, India’s tally at World Wrestling Championships has now gone to five, country’s best performance in the tournament.
India’s previous best show was in 2013, when the country had three in their kitty courtesy Amir Dahiya (silver), Bajrang Punia (bronze) and Sandeep Tulsi Yadav (bronze in Greco-Roman).
Aware was in complete control of the bout and jumped in joy at the end, having won the biggest medal of his career. The Maharashtra grappler had won a gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and two bronze at the Asian Championships (2009, 2011).
The American surprised Aware with a double leg attack, the moment the bout started and earned two points with a takedown.
However, he became alert and twice wriggled out of Graff’s single leg attacks. He also scored consecutive takedown points to lead 4-2 at the break.
In the second period too, Graff got hold of Aware’s right leg but the Indian got himself out of trouble in an impressive manner. He then pulled the bout it away from the American with a flurry of moves – the takedowns and expose take a commanding 10-2 lead.
It consolidated further when the American lost a challenge. Eventually he won 11-4. Aware had lost a pacy semifinal 6-10 to Beka Lomtadze, the European championship silver medallist. (Agencies)