Hyderabad: Ragala Venkat Rahul took the Indian gold medal tally to four when he won the 85kg weightlifting category in the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, on Saturday. It was the second gold in the day after Sathish Sivalingam clinched India’s third gold earlier in the 77kg category.
Competing in the CWG for the first time, the 21-year-old from Stuartpuram (near Guntur), who trained at Telangana State Sports School earlier, lifted 338 kg (151kg in snatch and 187kg in clean and jerk) for top honours. The delighted SCR employee dedicated the win to his parents Madhu and late Neelima. “They worked very hard for me and they are the reason for what I am today. My coaches also supported me a lot,” said Rahul from Gold Coast who had his parents pictures tattooed on his chest.
When asked about it, he said, “My mother passed away two years ago and I got this tattoo two months after her loss. It is my way of showing my love for them. I spoke to my father after the victory. He was very happy,” he said.
Rahul said he could have achieved higher lift if not for the knee injury he suffered three months ago. He also said that reaching Gold Coast early and getting acclimatisation to the climate helped him. “I came here to the games to break the record. I could have done better. But I couldn’t do that because of my injury. My coach (Vijay Sharma) helped me a lot. Though our physio was not present at the arena (because of lack of accreditation), we went out and took help from him to recover,” he added.