Sports Other News 24 May 2018 Lifting her way to s ...

Lifting her way to success

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | BANSARI TRIVEDI J
Published May 24, 2018, 1:12 am IST
Updated May 24, 2018, 1:12 am IST
Tejavath Sukanya Bhai is setting an example for women around the world by making her weight her biggest strength.
Raja Shekhar and Tejavath Sukanya Bhai.
 Raja Shekhar and Tejavath Sukanya Bhai.

Not everyone wants to be skinny, and not everyone should. Our understanding of the correlation being weight and health is very warped, to say the least.

Meet Tejavath Sukanya Bhai, a woman whose biggest strength is her weight. She has just returned home after winning a silver medal at the 15th International Women’s Weightlifting Grand Prix held in Spain a few days ago.

 

Sukanya wasn’t one of those people who was born knowing what she wanted to do with her life. When she was younger, she was interested in volleyball. Until one day when she was practising at L.B. Stadium and a coach told her, “You are too stout for volleyball. I am not asking you to leave the sport. But I am sure that you will do wonders if you shift your focus to weightlifting.” And it turns out he was right. Five years later, Sukanya is a weightlifting champion training under that very same coach. Raja Shekhar, her coach, says, “When I first met her I told her to give up volleyball and start weightlifting. I do not regret making that statement because she has lived up to my expectations.”

 

Soon after meeting Sukanya, Raja Shekhar was transferred to Warangal. But by then, she already had her heart set on making a career in weightlifting. She and her family also moved to Warangal to ensure that she could continue training under him.

“Initially, she was not too serious regarding championships. But since last year I have seen a great change in her. She is very passionate and confident. I am sure she will win a gold medal in the Olympics one day,” her proud coach says.

Speaking about her experience at the Grand Prix, Sukanya is a tad disappointed with her performance. “My target was to lift more than 160 kg, but I failed to do so. In the Snatch round, I successfully lifted 70 kg in my first attempt and 75 kg in my second attempt, but I failed to lift 78 kg in my third attempt. In the Clean and Jerk round, I successfully lifted 80 kg in my first attempt and 85 kg in my second attempt, but I failed to lift 90 kg in my third attempt. My total score was 75 kg from the first round and 85 kg from the second round, which is 160 kg in all,” she says. She adds that she would have managed to get a higher score, had she been performing at full capacity. “I suffered a back injury last December, and it is holding me back,” she says.

 

With a training regime as intense as hers, injuries are not uncommon. So terrible is the resultant pain that Sukanya finds it difficult to even get a good night’s rest. “Since I train a lot, there are times when I am unable to sleep because of the pain,” she says.

But that has never stopped her. Sukanya already has her sights set on her next goal — the World University Championship to be held in Poland three months from now.

“I want to recover from my injuries soon so that I can perform at my best. I would not be able to do any of this without the support of my mother Tejavath Bhadri, my father Tejavath Lakshman and my coach Raja Shekhar. I am at this point today because they believed in me,” she says.

 

The young Lambadi wishes that the rest of society were also as supportive. “I feel neglected by society. I feel that people are not willing to sponsor me because I am a member of an ST, a Lambadi. I can perform much better if I am given good sponsorships,” she says.

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