Indian para-athlete Sudhir won gold medal in the men’s heavyweight para-powerlifting event at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham on Thursday. The 28-year-old first-place finish in Birmingham was India’s first gold medal in the para powerlifting discipline at the Commonwealth Games.
The Asian Para Games bronze medallist from 2018, started the final with a comfortable 208kg lift and then increased the weight to 212kg in his second effort which helped him gain 134.5 points and created a new record.
In his final lift, Sudhir tried to lift 217kg but was not successful, still, he held on to the top spot and win historic gold for India. Ikechukwu Christian of Nigeria won the silver medal with 133.6 points, while Scot weightlifter Micky Yule claimed the bronze with a score of 130.9 points.
Sudhir was born in a farmer’s family in Sonipat, Haryana where at the age of four because of a high fever, he got infected with polio But this disease didn’t let him waver from his dreams as Sudhir pursued his lifelong love of sports. He then found weight lifting and began his sporting career in 2013.
He then made his international debut in 2018 at the Asian Para Games 2018 where he won the bronze medal. Sudhir is now working as a Weightlifting Senior Coach for the Government of Haryana. He also received the title of “Strong Man of India” at the 17th Senior and 12th Junior National Para Powerlifting Championships in 2018.
Reacting to this performance, Sudhir was confident about winning the elusive Gold medal as he had great preparation. “I absolutely thought I would win gold,” he said.
“My preparation was very good and I thank Birmingham for this. Preparation was good, the weather was good, the crowd was great – fantastic. Next for me is a celebration: I’m going to London to enjoy some shopping and see the city.”
Meanwhile, in the women’s lightweight powerlifting event Indian competitor Manpreet Kaur (89.6 points) and Sakina Khatun (86.5 points) finished fifth and sixth, respectively. Similarly, Parmjeet Kumar failed to put in a valid attempt in the men’s lightweight finals.