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Commonwealth Games

Farmer's son Sanket Sargar hopes CWG medal turns his life around

Commonwealth Games 2022: India's first medallist Sanket Sargar's body is not suited to weightlifting but he has always been motivated by an intense desire to rise above his poor background through this sport.

Farmers son Sanket Sargar hopes CWG medal turns his life around

Sanket Sargar at the CWG medal ceremony with his silver medal (SAI)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 25 Aug 2022 9:26 AM GMT

Commonwealth Games 2022: Sanket Sargar does not have the ideal body structure to be a weightlifter but gets the fire in his belly from an intense desire to overcome his background. Moments before the 21-year-old weightlifter became India's first medallist at the Commonwealth Games 2022, national coach Vijay Sharma told The Bridge he knew the Maharashtra lad was sure to win India's first CWG 2022 medal.

The son of a farmer who helps out in a paan shop in Sangli, Maharashtra, Sanket is still struggling to find a stable job and hopes his CWG win can change things around for him. The cash prizes he is now set to win is likely to allow him a few days break from working at the shop.

Vijay Sharma said he spotted the fire in his eyes at the National Championships last year.

"Sanket comes from a very poor background, so he has the drive to achieve something special and change his life. He goes about his training without any extra words, he wants to go a long way," Sharma said.

Coming from a village of weightlifters, this sport is what many of Sanket's friends and family members know as a route to a life of stability and government jobs. Sanket started training for weightlifting in 2013 as a 12-year-old. His sister is also a lifter. But this is the first time Sangli has produced a CWG silver medallist.

"His body structure is not ideal for weightlifting but he has a technique and an explosive power in his lifts to make up for it," said Vijay Sharma.

That explosive power was on full display on Saturday. He surged to the gold medal position with a 113-kg lift in the Snatch section, 6 kgs more than the second-placed lifter. He suffered a bad elbow injury during the Clean and Jerk section, failing to register valid lifts. He missed out on the gold medal by 1 kgs and was seen with his left arm in a sling during the medal ceremony.

In a humble reaction moments after his medal, Sanket told cameras: "This medal is for Azaadi Amrit Mahotsav celebration (75th year of India's Independence) and for the ones who protect our country by giving their sweat and blood without worrying about their lives."

He has had a meteoric rise in the last year and has been in the national camp since 2021. "Sanket has been the most impressive young lifter from our country in the past year," said Sharma.

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