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  Sports   In Other sports  10 Apr 2018  Worth his weight in gold

Worth his weight in gold

Published : Apr 10, 2018, 12:17 am IST
Updated : Apr 10, 2018, 12:17 am IST

That Sivalingam had been a weightlifter himself helped Sathish cope with the challenges posed by the sport.

Sathish Kumar Sivalingam
 Sathish Kumar Sivalingam

A weightlifting gold medal in the 77kg at the 21st Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, made Sathish Kumar Sivalingam a social media sensation on Saturday. Sathish deserved all the adulation because excellence in weightlifting demands bucketfuls of sweat. No other sport is as ruthless.

A weightlifter has a gargantuan appetite after a full-blooded workout in the gym but he/she cannot eat with gay abandon because maintaining weight is of paramount importance in the sport. Weightlifters need unwavering commitment more than explosive power to win medals. 

Sathish said that he had not been at his best in Gold Coast. “I have been grappling with a thigh injury since January. I’m far from being completely fit. I approached the 2014 Commonwealth Games in great shape and with supreme confidence. This time I just wanted to give my all without worrying. That’s why I put more value to the Gold Coast medal,” he added.

N. Sivalingam, Sathish’s father, said weightlifting isn’t for the fainthearted. “A tough task master, the sport demands round-the-clock attention. If you take a week off from training, you will have to start from scratch to get your muscles ready again. That is why the career span of a weightlifter is limited,” he added.

According to Sivalingam, Sathish took up weightlifting as early as eighth standard. “He effortlessly lifted 40kg immediately. He went on to win a national medal in the same year and received an incentive of Rs 10,000 from the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu. The medal and the cash prize inspired him to work harder,” he said.

That Sivalingam had been a weightlifter himself helped Sathish cope with the challenges posed by the sport. “My wife would fuss about the eating and sleeping habits of Sathish after a heavy workout when he was young. I used my experience to make her understand the difficulties of being a weightlifter. I joined the Army on the strength of my weightlifting credentials but not representing India hurt me no end. I’m thrilled that my son has made the country proud,” he said.

Sathish also benefited immensely from growing up at Sathuvacherry near Vellore, which is the cradle of Tamil Nadu weightlifting. He is the fourth Arjuna awardee from the small town after Tamilselvan, Devan and Muthu. But no one from Sathuvacherry had won back to back medals at the Commonwealth Games.

Tags: weightlifting, 2018 commonwealth games, gold coast