GOLD COAST : Sathish Sivalingam was literally begging the Indian Olympic Association to allow the weightlifting team physio to stay in the Games Village. There’s a reason behind this. When the team was training in Melbourne, he was barely able to squat. He aggravated his quadriceps injury and doctors asked him to stay away from weights.“I would not have missed this chance,” Sathish said after winning the 77 kg gold on Saturday.Even until a day ago, he was not squatting while practising. He was lifting weights standing, which is not ideal before a major competition. The 25-year-old from Vellore was trying to protect his quadriceps. Even during the event he was not squatting totally. He could not. A snap and his dreams would have effervesced into nothing.
“I am in a lot of pain and that’s why I was asking for a physio. Most of our recovery happens at night but the physio was not available.” The physio was with him when they were training in Melbourne. Only through determination and with the help of coaches and the physio did he manage to lift weights on Saturday. “I knew after this I would have time to recover for the Asian Games and it was worth the risk,” he said. “My coaches had confidence in me and helped me throughout.”
Sathish got injured during the senior nationals in January. He knew his chances were slim, but he did not give up. “I had a thigh problem. So I first focussed on securing the medal. Then I focussed on fighting for gold.”Egged on by a sports loving crowd at the Carrara Sports Arena, Sathish lifted 317kg total. In Glasgow he managed 328kg with a Games record in snatch (149kg). His best snatch was 144kg and the clean and jerk 173kg. Something he is not proud of. “But with the injury I am carrying I cannot complain,” he said. After Games, Sathish will go to Patiala for rehabilitation before heading to his academy in Vellore.
There is a thread around V Rahul Ragala’s neck, with a ring attached to it. It belonged to the Andhra weightlifter’s mother, who died six months ago. Having fought poverty and other adversities in life, Rahul finds inspiration from the ring when the chips are down.It worked wonders on Saturday, when the 21-year-old became India’s fourth gold medallist at the Commonwealth Games, by lifting 338 kg in the 85kg category. He is still to recover fully from a knee injury suffered a few months ago and walks with a light limp. Considering the odds, it required an inspired effort and that’s what Rahul came up with. “It was not easy for me to make a comeback. With the ring around my neck, she inspires me,” Rahul said.
V Rahul Ragala