TOPS Weightlifting Development athlete Akanksha becomes champion

 For Maharashtra weightlifter Akanksha Vyavhare, the TOPS weightlifting athlete, who dreams of becoming like Olympic medallist Mirabai Chanu, it was a tough and painful Gold at the Khelo India Youth Games.

Akanksha undoubtedly emerged as the champion in the 45kg category but she had to overcome a tough fight from Silver medallist Asmita Dhone. In clean and jerk, Asmita lifted 82 kg against Akanksha’s 80 kg, indicating to the TOPS Development athlete that the latter’s new weight category wasn’t an easy sail.

The 14-year-old Akanksha, lifted a total of 147 kg just four kilograms more than Asmita (143). Akanksha lifted 67 kgs in snatch and 80 kgs in clean and jerk. In terms of total weight, Akanksha set the youth national record while Silver medallist Asmita lifted 61 kgs in snatch and 82 kgs in clean and jerk, and Anjali Patel of Uttar Pradesh with a total of 142 kg (snatch 63 kg, clean and jerk 79 kg) walked away with the Bronze medal. The competition here made Akanksha realise that as a TOPS development athlete she needs to work harder in the days ahead.

Akanksha herself admitted that the competition was tough. Akanksha said, – The competition was tough. So much more than I thought. Though I have improved my performance but I will have to take a fresh look at how I can better it further.” This was only my second tournament in the new weight category after the Nagercoil Nationals. Now I am going to the Patiala camp and will rectify my mistakes. I felt I could have done better than this but for some reason I missed it.”

In Nagercoil, the first time when Akanksha shifted to the 45 KG category, she did 65 kg and 79 kg lifts. In the Khelo India Youth Games, Akanksha did better than this but fell behind in the clean and jerk as she dropped on the last lift. When asked about the reasons behind this, Akanksha said, “My last lift fell in the clean and jerk, otherwise my score could have been higher.”

Akanksha also said that her elbow was hurting from the very first lift itself. It was the same pain that was the result of an injury sustained during last year’s international event in Mexico and that injury is still effecting her and that happened to hamper her performance here as we. Because of this also her performance wasn’t satisfactory to her personally.

Akanksha said, “I had pain during the first jerk because my jerk became unbalanced. The first lift itself was hurting but I kept on going. I rushed it a bit in the last clean and jerk lift and that ruined my lift. If it would have been a good lift, I could have performed well in the clean and jerk as well.”

Akanksha looked very happy with the arrangements made in Indore’s basketball for the Khelo India Youth Games. Akanksha said, “The platform was huge. The stage was also very big. Everything seemed to me to be of national and international level and then there was a lot of fighting. Initially I was enjoying my game. The medal was not on my mind but as the game progressed, my spirits also increased and I started thinking about the medal. I also got a lot of support and cooperation from the spectators present in the stadium”.

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