PUNE: He is a humble vegetable seller in a village in Satara district, but he dreamt big for his daughter Vaishnavi Pawar, who on Monday grabbed the biggest prize of her nascent career when she lifted 114-kg in total to win girls Under-17 gold medal in 81-kg category at the Khelo India Youth Games weightlifting competition at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Mhalunge-Balewadi here on Monday.
Santosh Pawar always had a dream that his daughter take up some sport and achieve accolades and it was weightlifting that she preferred to indulge in.
A ninth standard student of Anant English School in Satara, Vaishnavi takes coaching from Jitendra Devkar since she was in fifth standard.
On Monday she lifted 54 kg in snatch and 60 in clean and jerk to beat the challenge of Andhra Pradesh’s Gayatri Reddi (44, 65) 109 that won her the silver medal. Tamil Nadu’s M Deeba lifted 102-kg to take bronze medal.
“I got attracted towards weightlifting when I was in fifth class,” said Vaishnavi. “My coach suggested me to understand the sport by watching competitions and noting the finer points.”
Vaishnavi first spent time in learning the finer points and when Santosh realised his daughter’s interest in weightlifting he wholeheartedly supported her decision.
“My parents support is the biggest reason of my success,” said Vaishnavi, who won School National title that earned her the berth in Maharashtra team for Khelo India competition.
“I would like to get qualify for Olympics and represent my country at the biggest stage,” she said.
Vaishnavi’s parents were present at the venue to watch their daughter perform. “Vaishnavi is a very hard working girl and I am sure she will do well in future at the international level,” said Santosh who supports her dietary needs from the income he gets from selling vegetables.
Muskan Singh of Haryana won gold in the women’s +81kg U-17 category with a total weight of 135kg (snatch 60kg, clean and jerk 75kg) while Maibam Martina Devi clinched silver for Manipur with 130kg (snatch 60kg, clean and jerk 70kg). In the men’s 102kg U-17s, UP took both gold and silver. Pushpendra Singh Chaudhary with a total of 254kg (snatch 114kg, clean and jerk 140kg) won gold while Avinash Yadav took silver with 234kg (snatch 109kg, clean and jerk 125kg).
81-kg: 1. Vaishnavi Pawar (Mah) 114 kg, 2. Reddi Gayathri (AP) 109 kg, 3. M Deeba (TN) 102 kg.
Plus-81kg: 1. Muskan Singh (Har) 135kg, 2. Maibam Martina Devi (Man) 130 kg, 3. A. Mohana Priya (TN) 123 kg.
81-kg: 1. T. Dharshini (TN) 192 kg, 2. Christina Tayeng (Arn) 154 kg, 3. Shweta Pundir (UP) 154 kg.
102-kg: 1. Pushpendra Chaudhary (UP) 254 kg, 2. Avinash Yadav (UP) 234 kg.
Plus-102kg: 1. S. Rudra Mayan (TN) 269 kg, 2. Ashwani Tejya (UP) 250 kg, 3. Gagandeep Gill (Pun) 216 kg.
102-kg: 1. BSD Vishnu Vardhan (AP) 279 kg, 2. Pradeep Kumar Yadav (UP) 277 kg, 3. Dilpreet Singh (Pun) 245 kg.