Manilal Yadav was making giant strides in weightlifting. The athlete from Haryana won medals in various competitions and was on track for a fruitful career. However, since he did not come from a very affluent family, he had to take over the responsibilities of his family. Being the eldest brother, Manilal left weightlifting.
But, weightlifting didn't end there for the Yadav family. Manilal's sister Jyoti went to the stadium whenever her brother went to the stadium to practice in Gurgaon. She would quietly watch her brother train and dreamt of practising weightlifting one day.
Today Jyoti is a Khelo India Youth Games gold medallist in the 76kg category (U-17) and a youth national record holder. The 16-year-old broke the snatch youth national record with a score of 73, the clean and jerk youth national record with a score of 106 and the total youth national record with a score of 179 at the Khelo India Youth Games on Monday.
"The gold medal is all thanks to my brother and coach. I have been practicing for the last two years. I am very happy about winning the gold and breaking the youth national records. I used to tag along with my brother when he went to the stadium to practice. I would keep seeing him practice weightlifting and keep thinking about when I would get a chance to do the same," said a smiling Jyoti.
The Haryana weightlifter had asked her brother if she could also train with him at a very young age, but Manilal wanted to wait until Jyoti turned thirteen.
"She had told me at a young age that even she wants to lift weights. But I told her to wait for a while. When she turned 13, I introduced her to weightlifting. She picked up the sport very fast and now she has broken the record as well. I am very proud of her. However, all the credit goes to Jyoti's coach, who was my coach as well. He has laid the platform for me and Jyoti to perform in weightlifting," said a proud brother.
Manilal expressed that his family faced financial constraints while procuring equipment for himself and Jyoti's weightlifting career. However, Manial's coach, who is also Jyoti's coach, found a way for them.
"My father used to be a driver, but he doesn't work anymore because he is quite old now. So, I look after all the expenses of the house. We faced financial constraints while procuring equipment in the beginning. Our coach took us to the Deputy Commissioner of Gurgaon and he helped us. Now, I have bought new equipment with my own money recently," said Manilal, who has let out some houses on rent in order to generate income for his family.
Manilal has set high targets for his sister. He would like to see Jyoti participate in international tournaments this year and achieve everything that he couldn't achieve.
"This year I would like to see Jyoti play in international tournaments and bring laurels to the country. I would like to see my sister achieve everything I couldn't achieve," signed off Manilal.