STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Commonwealth Games: Thought the bar was too heavy when I started, recalls silver medallist Gururaja

The 25-year-old, hailing from a small village in Karnataka, could hardly stop smiling as he soaked in the attention that came with being the ceremonial account-opener

Published: 05th April 2018 10:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th April 2018 04:14 PM   |  A+A-

Gururaja had a best attempt of 111 kg in the snatch and 138 kg in the clean and jerk for a total of 249 kg. | PTI

By PTI

GOLD COAST: For a man who couldn't get a hang of how to lift the bar for the longest time, weightlifter P Gururaja said he hasn't done too badly for himself as he reflected on the silver around his neck that opened India's medal account in the 21st Commonwealth Games today.

The 25-year-old, hailing from a small village in Karnataka, could hardly stop smiling as he soaked in the attention that came with being the ceremonial account-opener at the quadrennial event.

The moment didn't come easy, as his first two attempts in clean and jerk had been declared invalid and he was under tremendous pressure in the final attempt.

"After I failed the first two attempts, my coach reminded me how much my life depends on this. I remembered my family and my country," he said when asked what went through his mind in those nervy moments.

Gururaja equalled his personal best of 249kg (111kg+138kg) to finish second.

"When I started in 2010, in the first month of my training, I was so frustrated because I didn't even know how to lift a bar. It was too heavy for me," he said.

VIEW GALLERY: Weightlifter Gururaja bags India's first medal in 2018 Commonwealth games

That is hardly something an aspiring weightlifter would complain of, only that Gururaja aspired to be a wrestler, inspired by a certain Sushil Kumar.

"I remember I had seen Sushil Kumar wrestle in the 2010 CWG, I was just starting weightlifting at that time. When I saw him I really wanted to take up wrestling. Then I met my coach Rajendra Prasad who taught me weightlifting," he said.

"I was trying to be a 42kg category wrestler and it (weightlifting) seemed impossible to me. Eventually, I got a hang of it," he added.

An employee of the Indian Air Force, Gururaja has seen all the proverbial hardships of life that athletes from humble backgrounds endure in India.

VIEW GALLERY: Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu clinches India’s first gold at Commonwealth Games 2018

Having watched his truck driver father slog hard to raise eight children, Gururaja is determined to give his family a good life.

"My family was on my mind when I failed the two attempts in clean and jerk, it meant a lot to me," he said.

Asked whether he would still be interested in giving wrestling a shot, Gururaja broke into a laughter.

"I still enjoy wrestling, I still love the sport a lot. I will prepare for the Olympics, I have got a lot of support from the national federation and everyone who has been part of my journey. All my coaches have shaped me," he said.

 

Stay up to date on all the latest Commonwealth Games 2018 news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp