Rahul Aware on Sunday won bronze in the 61kg freestyle division of the World Wrestling Championships. This is India’s fifth medal at the World Wrestling Championships with Aware joining bronze medallists Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Ravi Kumar Dahiya while Deepak Punia won silver earlier in the day. Aware beat 2017 Pan American champion Tyler Graff 11-4 in the bronze medal bout.
The bout started with two points going to 2017 Pan American champion Graff thanks to a takedown. Aware soon took two points back with his own takedown before taking two more points. At the interval, he was leading 4-2.
In the second period, the 27-year-old took firm control of the bout with a stranglehold on Graff that helped him race to a 10-2 lead. The American’s camp were then unsuccessful with a review and conceded one more point. In the 40 seconds that remained, Graff managed to take two more points but it was too steep a hill for him to climb.
Aware’s weight class of 61kg is a non-Olympic category. Earlier in the day, Deepak Punia pulled out of his gold medal bout against Iran great Hassan Yazdani in the 86kg category due to injuries. Deepak, along with Bajrang, Vinesh and Dahiya confirmed a spot for India at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics by reaching the medal rounds in Nur-Sultan.