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From gilli danda to weightlifting - Odisha's Jyoshna lifts silver at Khelo India Youth Games

When Jyoshna Sabar won the silver medal at ongoing Khelo India Youth Games, it was not just a medal but rather the completion of an incomplete dream.

From gilli danda to weightlifting - Odishas Jyoshna lifts silver at Khelo India Youth Games

Pritish Raj

Updated: 6 Feb 2023 2:05 PM GMT

When Jyoshna Sabar of Odisha lifted 118kg and bagged the silver medal in 40kg girls weightlifting at ongoing Khelo India Youth Games in Madhya Pradesh, it was not just a medal but rather the completion of an incomplete dream.

It was the same stage where the nerves got better of Sabar last time and she missed out on the podium.

"I was nervous for the first time when I went to Khelo India Youth Games looking at the other competitors. But this time I am well prepared for the challenge and will return back with a medal," Jyoshna had told The Bridge just days before leaving for her second appearance in the event.

The youngster though was not completely pleased with her efforts as she lost out the gold to Maharashtra's Vinatai Aher - the lifter she had defeated a month ago to win the Youth Nationals.

Hailing from the Gajapati district of Odisha, Jyoshna idolises the legendary Mirabai Chanu due to similar backgrounds and wants to emulate her success at the international level.

"Mirabai Chanu is my favorite. I haven't seen her much on television, but I want to win international medals like her," the 14-year old quipped.

Training at the Weightlifting High-performance center of Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, Jyoshna used to have fun lifting things in her village when she was scouted and trained to lift at school.

"I used to have fun playing everything. I used to play gilli danda the most and that is how I spent time in my village," laughed Jyoshna.

"She was scouted from one of the gram Vikash schools and one of our coaches got us her in the center," her coach Jagyna Narayan Nanda chipped in.

When Jyoshna was brought to the high-performance center in Bhubaneshwar, she felt homesick.

"I used to miss home earlier but now I have started enjoying weightlifting. My parents also insist that I here and focus on my career. I keep going home once in a while," the youngster said.

The high performance center managed by Tenvic Sports also has mental conditioning coach available for kids training in the center.

"We have sports psychologist at our center to work on things like fear of competition and homesickness. She comes from a poor farmer family and it is natural to miss home at this young age. We work on both physical and mental aspect of these kids," coach Nanda stated.

Having mental conditioning coach certainly helped Jyoshna overcome her nerves on Monday at the Khelo India Youth Games in Madhya Pradesh.

The podium finish today adds to Jyoshna's ever-growing list of medals. The youngster has won gold in the Odisha State Championship, gold at National Youth Weightlifting championship, and a silver at Khelo India Women Ranking tournament.

Though the journey from Gajapati to the podium of Khelo India Youth Games has been quite challenging for the 14-year-old, she has much long way to go in pursuit of her dream to emulate the success of Mirabai Chanu.

With multiple medals and the taste of competing at the highest level she is surely on the right way.

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