STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Commonwealth Games 2018 | Indian weightlifters' golden run: Special diets, discipline and a complete wipeout of doping

The Indian weightlifting team will be heading back home with five gold, two silver and as many bronze, despite the fact that the team did not have access to a full-time physio.

Published: 10th April 2018 08:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th April 2018 08:14 AM   |  A+A-

Mirabai_Chanu3_PTI

Gold rush: Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu secured India's first gold medal at the Commonwealth Games this year | PTI

By PTI

GOLD COAST: Over 500 dope tests every year in the last four years, specialised diet and nutritional supplements only from Germany -- these are the ingredients that went into the Indian weightlifters' sensational haul of five gold medals at the 21st Commonwealth Games here.

The Indian weightlifting team will be heading back home tomorrow with five gold, two silver and as many bronze, topping the medals tally in the sport. This, despite the fact that the team did not have access to a full-time physio for the entire duration of the Games and almost every member of the squad carried niggles of various degrees.

Add to this, they did not have a single coach to attend to them during training sessions as the three travelling coaches were held up at the competition venue everyday.

"It has been a performance which has been in the making for the last four years. We made certain structural changes to the way weightlifters trained. Most importantly, we changed the dietary habits and the nutritional supplements," India's national coach Vijay Sharma told PTI, analysing the team's performance.

"The SAI mess has the same diet for every sport but every sport requires a different diet. We asked for a separate diet comprising mutton and pork and nutritional supplements specifically from Germany because their manufacturing is the best, there is no chance of anything shady coming from there," he said.

Mirabai Chanu (48kg), Sanjita Chanu (53kg), Sathish Sivalingam (77kg), Venkat Rahul Ragala (85kg) and Punam Yadav (69kg) claimed gold, while P Gururaja (56kg) and Pardeep Singh (105kg) fetched silver medals. Vikas Thakur (94kg) and and 18-year-old Deepak Lather (69kg) added the bronze medals to the Indian kitty.

"None of these kids took more than a total of 10-12 leaves from the national camp in the last four years, such has been the discipline," said Sharma, who became chief coach of India in 2014 but has been with the lifters since 2012.

Indian weightlifting does not have the best track record in doping and Sharma said it was a problem tackled head on by the national federation in the last four years.

"We made a conscious effort to weed out dope cheats. We took National Anti-Doping Agency's help and have been conducting over 500 dope tests every year since 2014, you can check the records. We instilled fear about doping into athletes," he said.

"When I took over as national coach, I was specifically told to ensure that doping completely ends. With the support of the federation, our kids are now much more aware and probably more fearful of doing anything wrong for performance," he explained.

"And why do they cheat? They cheat when their supplements are not good, their diet is lacking which hinders recovery. Now that all these aspects are being taken care of, there is no reason for anyone to indulge in wrongdoing," he reasoned.

The final medal count might have been nothing short of remarkable but it still could not hide the several structural shortcomings, including the absence of something as basic as a full-time physio for the team.

"We could have won a medal yesterday in the +105kg (Gurdeep Singh), he was carrying a back problem and a physio was crucial. We didn't have that and now we have officially written to the authorities concerned that such a situation should not happen again," Sharma said. "Hopefully, now that we have performance to show, we will be heard," he signed off.

Stay up to date on all the latest Commonwealth Games 2018 news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

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