For Majiziya Bhanu, the gym has become an inseparable part of life. She makes it a point to never miss it, no matter what time of the day, even after being awarded the title ‘the strongwoman of Kerala 2017’ by the Kerala State Powerlifting Association.
Hailing from Kerala, what she has done in the past year has put her small town Orakatteri on the sports map. She brought home a silver medal with a 370-kg lift in this year’s Asian Powerlifting Championship held in Malaysia and she makes it sound like winning was a breeze. “It’s just been a year since I stepped into powerlifting. Right from school, I was into athletics and was fascinated by boxing and weightlifting.”
Gymnasiums itself are a rarity away from cities, let alone facilities of powerlifting.“I live in a village where not even men train in powerlifting,” she says. There is a world of difference between weightlifting and powerlifting. She explains, “Rubber weights are lifted for weightlifting, whereas for powerlifting, we lift iron weights. Weightlifting competitions have two rounds and for powerlifting, there are three. The score also differs. Weightlifting is an event in the Olympics and there are only world championships for powerlifting. I hope powerlifting will be considered as an Olympic event as it was part of the National Games this time.”
Majiziya competes in the 52 kg senior women category. Shedding light into how she was introduced to powerlifting, she says, “My parents are my pillars of support. Once I finished school, they gave me the freedom to pursue anything I like as long as I find time to study. So, I got in touch with my brother’s swimming instructor and asked him if there was anything interesting like boxing or weightlifting under the Sports Council anywhere in Kozhikode. From there, I was introduced to a boxing instructor, who recognised my capacity to go for something challenging and suggested that I try powerlifting. That’s how I began training under Jayadas sir.”
Interestingly, Majiziya is a final year BDS student. Quizzed about how she juggles it all with just 24 hours in hand, she laughs. “I get up early. I am a devout Muslim and namaz is a part of life. So after prayers and quick studying, I leave for college by 7. My classes are from 8 to 3.30. I get back home, freshen up a bit, hit the gym and will practice till around 8. After getting home, I find some more time to study and then go to bed,” she laughs. Apart from all these, she travels to Kozhikode once a week for her powerlifting training under her coach.
Right now, Majiziya is overjoyed by a recognition that came her way. “Being awarded the Best Sports Woman of Kerala 2017 by the Calicut District Powerlifting Association. I will be representing my college at university-level competitions. She will also be attending the Asian powerlifting championship in December.”...