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Gold medal surprises Maharashtra weightlifter Tatgunti

Updated on: 05 February,2024 11:24 AM IST  |  Mumbai

Arati says it was only after all her lifts were done that she got to know about her gold at Khelo India Youth Games in Chennai

Gold medal surprises Maharashtra weightlifter Tatgunti

Maharashtra weightlifter Arati Tatgunti with her gold medal at the Khelo India Youth Games in Chennai. PIC/Khelo India Youth Games

Maharashtra weightlifter Arati Tatgunti said winning a gold medal and breaking national youth records in the 49kg category at the Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) in Chennai was completely unexpected and left her surprised.

It was a keenly-fought contest between Arati, her statemate Soumya Dalvi and Assam’s Panchami Sonowal at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium recently, Arati emerged victorious, lifting a total weight of 170 kg, including 75 in snatch and 95 in clean and jerk, thereby creating new records in snatch, clean and jerk.

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Assam’s Sonowal settled for silver, lifting a total weight of 167 kg, while Maharashtra’s Dalvi won a bronze for her 165kg effort. Sonowal, who had won gold in the last edition of the Games, went for a 97kg lift in her last clean and jerk attempt to clinch the gold medal, but injured her back in the process. Arati broke last year’s record created by Assam’s Sonowal in snatch, clean and jerk. Last year, Sonowal lifted 74kg in snatch, while Arati did  75kg this year. In the clean and jerk last year, Sonowal managed a lift of 93kg, while Tatgunti lifted 95kg. Overall, Sonowal bettered her last year’s record of 165kg to lift 167 this year, but Tatgunti with a total of 170 kg.

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Tatgunti, 19, told that this year's KIYG will always remain a special tournament considering this is where she won her maiden gold medal at the national level. “The gold medal…I didn’t expect it at all. It was a surprise. There were three people in contention for gold. I knew that I had to give more than my best. It was only after I finished all my lifts that I was told that I won gold. The best part was I also broke national records. My feat in Chennai has instilled a lot of confidence in me to dream on and achieve success at big-ticket events like the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games among others,” remarked Arati, a first year BA student of Shri Annasaheb Dange Arts Commerce and Science College, Hatkanangale in Kolhapur.

Arati thanked her mum Laxmi and dad Rajendra, who are tailors at Khotwadi village in Ichalkaranji, Maharashtra, and her coach Uttam Mengne for her success.

She idolises  2020 Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Saikhom Mirabai Chanu. “Her achievements have allowed a lot of athletes like me from small towns to dream big. I wish I can achieve international success like her someday. Another Indian sportsperson I admire is MS Dhoni,” Arati signed off.

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