Achinta Sheuli won the gold medal in Commonwealth Games by lifting a record 313 kg, know how Mirabai Chanu inspired her?
Image Credit source: PTI
Birmingham. There is silence in Hall 1 of the NEC Arena, with Achinta Sheuly making her first attempt in the clean and jerk round. Then Meera didi i.e. Meerabai Chanu breaks this silence. She shouts, giving instructions. “Pull hard. Relax comfortably. Strong push.” Mirabai, excited, thinks Sheuly might win. She is watching his game as he walks around the stairs. Many other Indian medalists are also present behind him.
New champion Jeremy Lalrinnunga in men’s 67kg category and bronze medalist Gururaja in men’s 61kg category are also thrilled. In the clean and jerk round, Sheuli drops the barbell weighing 170 kg, and a loud groan erupts in the hall. At the halfway mark, he was on top. But due to the drop in the second attempt, his troubles increase. He is facing a close contest with Eri Hidayat Muhammad of Malaysia.
Mirabai gave instructions to Achinta Sheuli
They decide to try their luck once again with 170kg. As the audience falls silent, Meera didi screams again. “Easy easy,” she instructs Sheuly. Sheuly lifts a total of 313 kg in this game, which is a record, winning the sixth medal for India. After winning the gold medal, Sheuli said, “I could not see him. But was listening to them. Didi and Jeremy’s voices were heard. We all have taken training at NIS Patiala. My game was in the evening, so I couldn’t attend Jeremy’s game. I saw Meera didi’s game.
He adds, “We both (me and Jeremy) are already good friends. I share everything with him, and so does he. We can ask each other for any help.” Incidentally, the two may clash at the Olympics, as Jeremy plans to move to the 73kg category for the Paris 2024 Olympics. This means he and Sheuli can compete for 73kg. He says, “My weight category will remain the same. So, I am thinking that I will have to work hard to do well in this category.”
After winning the gold, he said that he can now eat whatever he wants. It was difficult to do this a few days ago. His roommate Sanket Sargar at Athletes Village was free to eat whatever he wanted after winning the silver medal. He says, “Because of his injured hand, he didn’t lose control (and celebrated with caution). He was told not to go out, so we stayed at home for a long time. Whenever he wanted to go downstairs and bring food. But I struggled to control myself when I smelled that food.”
big brother role
Shelly had to face a lot of struggles to reach this point. He lost his father at an early age. His mother, elder brother did embroidery work to fill his stomach. His elder brother was also a weightlifter, but he had to leave it so that the younger brother could pursue his dreams. Just before the game on Sunday, Sheuly talked to his brother, who told him to win all six of his lifts.
Sheuli says, “I dropped a lift, so I’m a little sad. But the rest is fine.” After this he says, “He (brother) had to give up weightlifting because he had to help the family. The mother used to work, but the money that was coming was not enough to support the family. So my brother quit weightlifting to help my mother. But still, it felt like the money was short. Some more work to be done. So I had to help too, so that we could lead a more comfortable life. But despite the work of all three of us, it seemed that that much income was not enough.”
Shelly said, “When my father passed away, we were in trouble. He was the only earner. Neither my mother nor my brother knew much. So, we started work. I also worked with my family. Sleeping, getting up, catching the train and then working, that was my routine. I would get up at 6:30 in the morning, work till 9:30, catch the train by 9:30. Comes back at 10:15 and then goes to school. After school and training, he would come back home at 8 o’clock. Then I was only 12 or 13 years old. We used to do embroidery work on clothes. Now whenever something bad happens to me, I think it’s not as hard as it was when I lost my father.”