Sport

Injury didn't deter Chandigarh weightlifter from clinching gold at Khelo India Games

Injury didn't deter Chandigarh weightlifter from clinching gold at Khelo India Games
Veerjeet Kaur (centre) after winning the medal. (Express photo)

Prior to competing in the Third Khelo India Youth games at Guwahati, 19-year-old Chandigarh weightlifter Veerjeet Kaur had been struggling with an injury in quadriceps muscles in her thigh. The reigning junior national champion did not let the injury hamper her chances in the event and emerged as the U-21 champion in the 49 Kg girls’ event at Guwahati on Friday.

Kaur, who originally hails from Rori village in Sirsa district in Haryana, lifted a total weight of 143 kg including 64 kg in snatch and 81 kg in clean and jerk to claim the title while Gitashree Sonowal of Assam claimed the silver with Nomita Devi of Manipur winning the bronze medal.

“I had been struggling with an injury in my thigh since the last one month. Competing in the Khelo India Youth games was one of my targets for this year and to win the gold medal despite my injury is a special feeling for me. Even though the weight lifted by me here was less as compared to the weight lifted in junior national championships, this performance will set the tone for me for this year. I have turned senior now and to win a gold medal in U-21 category is always a confidence booster,” shared Kaur, who is a student of BA-III at MCM DAV College, Sector 36, Chandigarh.

Kaur, whose father owns an eight-acre farm at village Rori in Sirsa district in Haryana, initially played kabaddi and kho-kho at her village before shifting base to Chandigarh in 2016.

The youngster was spotted by weightlifting coach Karanbir Singh Buttar and the coach recruited her to train at the Sector 42 weightlifting hall. Kaur became the junior champion in Chandigarh in 2016 before claiming the title again in 2017.

With coach Karanbir Singh Buttar. Express

In 2018, Kaur had won the silver medal in the Junior National Weightlifting Championship at Nagpur before she became the national junior champion in 49 kg in the Junior National Weightlifting Championship at Bodh Gaya, Bihar in October last year.

At Bodh Gaya, Kaur had lifted a total of 160 kg with 70 kg in snatch and 90 kg and clean and jerk as compared to total weight of 143 kg lifted at Guwahati. With her turning senior this year, coach Buttar knows that Kaur will have a tough outing at the senior level with presence of much experienced weightlifters at the senior level. The coach counts next year’s senior nationals apart from this year’s All India Inter University Weightlifting Championships as Kaur’s long term goals.