Thursday, October 16, 2008

Still did it

Indian gold winning weightlifter Yamini reveals that she has no coach and how she plodded the hard grind under the supervision of former C'ommonwealth Games gold medallist Shailaja Pujari

Suhrid Barua, Pune Mirror, October 15, 2008

The trials and tribulations of a sportsperson often go unnoticed when the hour of glory arrives. And for Indian weightlifter Yamini, the story is no different. Firing what looked to us as a sort of a bombshell after she won the gold in the women's 58-kg category, the Andhra girl revealed how she traversed the hard grind without any coach. "I don't have a coach. It was only because of the encouragement I got from former Commonwealth Games gold medallist Shailaja Pujari, who is our family well-wisher, to take up weightlifting. I have all the training equipment fixed up at my home and I used to take lessons from Shailaja from time to time," Yamini said.

The SriKakula girl admits that had it been not for Shailaja's persuasion to take up the sport, she would have never taken a fancy to weightlifting. "My father is a Railway employee while my mother is a lecturer. Both come from non-sports background. It was only on Shailaja's wheedling that I picked up weightlifting," Yamini said, showering all the credit to her mentor. It's only at the national camps that Yamini gets the opportunity to hone her skills. "At the recent national camp in Bangalore, I trained under Anita Chanu and Shamta Shetty. It's only during national camps I train under their supervision. That's the way it is," she added.

What's next was the obvious question? "In two years time, the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games are coming up. So the ultimate goal is to win medals at these two events and carried it from them with an Olympic medal," she observed. But the 15-year-old knows that a podium finish at the Olympics would indeed take something 'special' out of her. "I am not tom-toming that I would win an Olympic medal in 2012. But there's nothing wrong in living a dream as I know my task will be really cut out," she added with a coyish tone.

For the stats-minded, Yamini hoisted 80 kg in snatch and 98 in clean and jerk for a total lift of 178 kg to pocket the yellow medal.

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