Hyderabad: For 19-year-old Erra Deexitha, it was a pleasant surprise when she won the gold medal at the Commonwealth WeightliftingChampionship in Gold Coast in Australia in junior category.
The Telangana State Sports School weightlifter snatched gold in the 58kg women’s category with a lift of 73kg in snatch and 94kg in clean and jerk category for an overall weight of 167 that ensured the top finish on the podium.
Speaking to Telangana Today from Australia, the Mahabubabad native said that it was a delightful moment as she didn’t expect to win a gold given the tough competition. “I didn’t expect any medal. It was a surprise win as the competition was very tough. I wanted to give my best. That’s what I did and won the medal,” said an elated lifter.
The victory was important for her given that she drew blank in the recently concluded Women Asian Junior Weightlifting Champinoship in Kathmandu in July. “I worked hard for six months in NIS Patiala centre with coach Vijay Sharma. The victory is also because of the hard work put in my coaches SA Singh and Manikyal Rao at the Telangana State Sports School,” she added.
This being her last competition in the junior category and she set to enter the seniors, she has sought financial support from government to match the international standards and achieve her dream of winning a medal in 2020 Tokyo Olympics and 2022 Commonwealth Games. “My dream is to win a gold at 2020 Olympics and 2022 Commonwealth Games. I will be competing in the senior category and I am sure I will qualify for the Olympics. I need to step up my training and need better diet. For that, I need State support,” said Deexitha, who hails from a poor family from Mahabubabad.
Her coach Manikyal Rao also sounded confident saying the girl has immense potential to win medals for the country in major international events. “The result is on expected lines. But the support from the government is not encouraging. She didn’t qualify for the Commonwealth Games in senior category due to lack of financial assistance. So she had to compete in junior category. If she is given due support, she will win medals in senior category as well. She will definitely succeed in senior category as well given the talent she has. But all she needs now is financial support. She lifted 85 and 105 kgs in the snatch, clean and jerk respectively. That is her personal best. But she didn’t repeat that in Australia. She was not given due importance in the national camp. For Olympics, the qualification is 90 kg and 105kg. She can achieve that mark for sure,” he added.
Her other coach SA Singh also added that the lack of financial assistance can be a major hindrance for her dream of winning an Olympic medal. “We were sure of a gold at this medal as she has lifted that medal many times. But this is not her best performance. This is not even her personal best. She didn’t give her performance on our expected lines. But she did win gold which is great. A world lifter needs to maintain diet and practice of high quality. But she doesn’t have that support. It requires a minimum of Rs 60,000 per month to train for world championships. But she is not getting that help. She used to lift 85 kg and 105 kg regularly here. She also reaslied that. But she was not asked to train to lift that weight in Patiala. I don’t know the reasons. But she should train hard to qualify for Olympics. We can’t comment on the coaches at NIS Patiala. They are qualified coaches,” he added.