Ex-cricketer Neeta Chaple is now a powerlifting champion

Updated: Sep 04, 2019, 11:16 IST | Subodh Mayure |

On Saturday, at the Thane District Powerlifting Competition, she won her maiden gold with a 185kg lift in a combined category featuring bench press, dead lift and squat in the Master's women 84kg-plus segment

Neeta Chaple
Neeta Chaple

Neeta Chaple didn't have a clue what powerlifting was all about in June. Two months later, the Vidarbha cricketer-turned-coach earned her first gold medal in the sport at the district level and that too with injuries to both her knees. On Saturday, at the Thane District Powerlifting Competition, she won her maiden gold with a 185kg lift in a combined category featuring bench press, dead lift and squat in the Master's women 84kg-plus segment.

Credit to coach

"I enjoyed playing cricket for Vidarbha and Nagpur University as it's a team game. At the same time, individual sport got me excited; I felt I should try my hand at powerlifting. I coach cricketers, but since the off-season is on, I made enquiries about powerlifting. I was encouraged to take it up seriously by powerlifting coach Suresh Kolekar," Chaple, a former Vidarbha wicketkeeper-batswoman, told mid-day. Chaple, 47, who played the Senior Nationals in 1992 and led Nagpur University in the same year, is now head coach at Arya Gurukul in Kalyan.

'Sheer willpower'

She did not expect to emerge champion in her first attempt at the powerlifting competition, as she was struggling with injuries to both her knees. "Winning gold despite my injuries and beating my competitors was only possible because of sheer willpower. Apart from coach Kolekar's guidance, the encouragement and motivation I received from my competitors helped me raise the bar," said Chaple, who has written a book on women's cricket in English and Marathi. Her next challenge is in the form of the State Level Powerlifting Championship to be held on September 8 at Parel.

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