Hyderabad: Their maiden attempt in a Grand Prix event turned out to be a golden one for Boddepalli Rajya Laxmi and Budumuru Rajeswari. The Telangana State lifters, who made history by becoming the first Indians to participate in a GP event, clinched gold medals in the International Women’s weightlifting event at VFL Auditorium in Nagold, Germany, on Sunday.
About 108 weightlifters took part in the eight body weight categories. The 30-year-old Rajya Laxmi topped the honours in +90 kg class event, while 23-year-old Rajeswari triumphed in 90 kg class event. Rajya Laxmi had a total lift of 177 kg (77kg snatch+100kg clean & jerk) in her event. In the 90 kg class, Rajeswari lifted a total of 190 kg (85kg snatch+ 105kg clean & jerk).
“It is a very fruitful outing. Although some of the top weightlifters were missing in the competition, winning gold in their maiden appearance is a creditable one,’’ said coach Naga Raja Sekhar.
However, the third lifter, Tejavath Sukanya, finished sixth in the 75 kg class. She lifted a total 134 kg (60kg snatch+74 kg clean & jerk). Being sponsored by CBR Academy of Sports, the lifters were sent to gain exposure and experience in international events. All these years, the national lifters took part in limited international events like Asia, World meets or Olympics and this proved a big setback to the Indians, who faltered at these important meets.
“One of the purposes to participate in these GP meets was to gain experience. These types of Grand Prix events give confidence to our lifters for big events like Olympics or Asian Games.
Naturally, the lifters were excited to take part in this tournament. And most importantly, Rajya Laxmi and Rajeswari impressed with their performances in their first GP event,’’ said Sekhar.
According to Sekhar, 90 and +90 were the new events in GP. “We increased the body weights of both Rajya Laxmi and Rajeswari for this GP tournament. It was a big advantage for us. When the national anthem was played for the first time, we were all emotional,’’ he said.
Sekhar said these lifters were training at CBR Academy of Sports & Education, Gollor, near Shamshabad airport. “It will definitely give boost to the lifters’ confidence. The start has been made and we will look forward to many more such tournaments. CBR Prasadgaru is keen that Indian lifters should win laurels in Asian, World and Olympics. This type of exposure is a right step in that direction.’’