At the SAI centre in Patiala, Achinta Sheuli can be seen constantly hustling and making his calm nature do the talking at every training session. Set for his debut at the Commonwealth Games later this month, the Bengal weightlifter has his priorities in place.
Achinta will compete in the men's 73kg category. Although it won't be witnessed by the common eyes, Achinta's life-long hardships and internal motivation, honed over years, will reflect in his performance in Birmingham.
A chance tryst with catching a kaata ghudi (thread-broken kite) helped Achinta enter the world of weightlifting when he was 10. Hailing from Dhulagarh in Howrah, he joined his brother Alok at the local gym and used to go all 7 days of the week. Initially, it was just baithak (a modified squat) and don (a modified pushup). Lifting came later.
Achinta's passion and discipline were fuelled by the conditions back home. His dad used to work as a labourer to do the most to provide for the family. However, post their dad's death in 2013, Alok gave up weightlifting while their mother took up tailoring and other jobs to keep the house in order. Achinta stayed put with his passion and worked in silence.
"Everyone is focused on phone nowadays. You need to have a target in life," Achinta said, showcasing the core values he's harnessed over the years.
"Many like to go to the gym to impress girls. I wanted to fight as my family background was not too good. I knew had to do face a lot of challenges and therefore, I tried improving step by step."
This passion and no-nonsense attitude took him a long way. Achinta participated in his first weightlifting nationals in 2013 in Guwahati and came fourth. The 2018 Khelo India Youth Games gold medallist won the coveted yellow metal in the big stage at the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships, Apia, Samoa, in July 2019 in both the junior and senior categories.
Achinta rode on the winning momentum and broke six national weightlifting records, including three in the senior group, on his way to a silver medal in the men's 73kg category of the Junior World Championships in Tashkent last year. Also in Tashkent, he became the 73kg champion at the Commonwealth Championships later last year.
Achinta is a part of the 12-member Indian Weightlifting contingent set to make an emphatic mark in Birmingham. Achinta, a part of the Target Olympic Podium Scheme, will definitely look to make this event count. His blistering passion, calmness, desire to be the best and applications of visualization, self-talk and deep breathing techniques will make him reach the target.