Chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Saturday announces Rs 50 lakh cash reward for Sathish Kumar Sivalingam, who won gold medal in 77kg weightlifting in Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast in Australia. But into the competition, Sathish gave a good account of himself as he got into the lead with a lift of 144 kg in snatch, improving it to 136kg and 140kg, before retaining the gold medal with a clean and jerk, which weighed 173kg and a total of 317kg.
Venkat, 21, was tied with Don Opeloge (Samoa) with 151kg at the end of the first stage (snatch) of the competition, but as the latter faltered in the clean and jerk, it made things easier for the lifter from Stuartpuram, Andhra Pradesh.
"I had no hopes of winning a medal after I injured my thighs during the National Championships while attempting 194kg in clean and jerk", Sathish was quoted by PTI. "It's a quadriceps problem, even now I am competing at less than ideal fitness but I am glad that was enough to get me a gold", Sathish said after his medal ceremony during which he was accorded a warm applause by the packed arena. Talking to media after winning his medal, the 25-year-old later revealed that he was in so much pain because of a thigh injury that he did not even expect winning a medal. Sathish's exploits in the 77kg category enhanced India's medal tally to five medals (three gold medals, one silver and one bronze to be precise). Everyone took care of me, gave me hope but I was not very confident.More news: Parents Miraculously Reunited With Their Daughter Who Went Missing 24 Years Ago
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Sivalingam added that he was cautious against going for a higher weight in the clean and jerk section, "I didn't want to touch that level because I still need to undergo rehabilitation".
Ahead of the 2014 Glasgow Games, Sathish trained for a while in Birmingham to get acclimatised to the conditions and food.
As many as 220-strong contingent have been sent by India to the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. "But this time I have got time to prepare and be fully fit now".