Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Saturday lauded weightlifter Sathish Sivalingam for winning gold in the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Australia and announced a cash reward of Rs 50 lakh in appreciation of his feat.
In Glasgow four year ago, Sathish had won the gold medal with 149kg snatch and 179kg clean and jerk lifts, totalling 328kg. He won the third gold for India in the men's 77kg weightlifting category.
Venkat, 21, was tied with Don Opeloge (Samoa) with 151kg at the end of the first stage (snatch) of the competition, but as the latter faltered in the clean and jerk, it made things easier for the lifter from Stuartpuram, Andhra Pradesh.
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"I had no hopes of winning a medal after I injured my thighs during the National Championships while attempting 194kg in clean and jerk". Talking to media after winning his medal, the 25-year-old later revealed that he was in so much pain because of a thigh injury that he did not even expect winning a medal. Ragala, who hails from the village of Stuartpuram in Andhra Pradesh's Guntur district and is a former silver medalist at the Youth Olympics, became the first Indian to win gold in his category. "I had not trained that hard and my body was not at its best, and so how could I hope for a medal", Sathish said. Sivalangam, the son of a weightlifter from the village of Sathuvachary near Vellore, maintained his flawless record at the Commonwealth level - he has never won anything apart from a gold at the Commonwealth Championships or Games. "I just hope that we get a physio with us at the Asian Games", said Sathish, once again highlighting the problems the weightlifters are facing due to the lack of accessibility of the physio in the competition area. Earlier, Sanjita Chanu and Saikhom Mirabai Chanu made India proud by bagging gold medals in the in the women's weightlifting 53 kg category event and 48 kg category event respectively.
Speaking on the limited access to the team physio, Sathish said, "I didn't want to touch that level because I still need to undergo rehabilitation".