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Khelo India University Games

Was taken to gym to get fitter but my fate was different: Ann Mariya after national record

Auto driver's daughter Ann Mariya MT, who studies History at Mangalore University, had initially taken up weightlifting as a sport to become slimmer. On Wednesday, she lit up KIUG 2021 with a new NR.

Was taken to gym to get fitter but my fate was different: Ann Mariya after national record

Ann Mariya now holds the new National Record in clean and Jerk in the 87-kg weight class. (SAI)


SS Manoj

Updated: 27 April 2022 3:12 PM GMT

Bengaluru: The ever-smiling Ann Mariya MT of Mangalore University set a national record for Clean and Jerk in the women's 87-kg weight category on the fourth and final day of weightlifting at the Khelo India University Games at Jain University Global Campus here on Wednesday.

The lifts registered over the four days at the KIUG 2021 have not been very impressive overall but it seems the best was saved for the last. Ann lifted 101kg in Snatch and 129kg in Clean and Jerk on her third and final attempts. The 129kg lift took her into the record books and helped her bag the gold medal with a total of 230kg.

"I badly wanted to push further but there was hardly any challenge. Moreover, I passed the (medal mark on my) first attempt, that's why I could not go further. I wanted to avoid injuries too. I'm so happy to get into the record books," said Ann.

Ann's total weight lifted of 230kg was miles ahead of the rest of the field. Silver medallist T Satya Jyothi of ANUG and Muskan Singh of Kurukshetra University lifted only 189kg and 184kg respectively.

Ann also has records in All India Inter University (215kg: 95+122) at Guntur and Senior National Championship (231kg: 103+128) at Bhubaneswar from this year. These superlative performances have forced the Weightlifting Federation of India to invite her to the national camp in Patiala.

"I have to continue to deliver 230-plus in the trials which will be held during the camp for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games. I'm confident of performing better at the national camp," said the overjoyed Ann, who is set to share space at the camp with the best lifters from the country - like Olympics medallist Mirabai Chanu.

'Was taken to gym to get fitter but my fate was different'

The daughter of an auto rickshaw driver and a dance teacher who lost her job during Covid, the 23-year-old Ann hails from Thrissur in Kerala. She trains at the Bengaluru SAI centre with Meenakshi Sundareswaram and is MA History student at Alva's College in Mangalore. Her father Thimothy is the lone breadwinner of the family after her mother Gemini lost her job at the nearby school in Nadathara.

It was her mother who was the reason she had taken up weightlifting, and Ann now wants to give her the "the best gift" by qualifying for the Asian Games.

"I was nearly obese some eight years ago. So my mummy dragged me and my younger brother to a gym 9km away from our house on her scooter to make me lean and fit. It started when I was in Class X. But the fate in store for me was different," she said with a smile.

"After joining St Mary's College, Anu D Alapad, the physical education teacher, took me to inter-college competitions and all-India meets. But the real results came after I joined SAI here one year ago. I won two national gold medals, and now a third," she added.

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