P Gururaja, who brought India their first medal, a shining silver, on the first day of the Commonwealth Games 2018 in Gold Coast, remembered what he was thinking when he went for his third and final attempt after failing the first two.
Gururaja said that right before his third attempt, his coach reminded him how much his life depended on this.
Speaking to the press after winning silver medal on his CWG debut, son of truck driver Gururaja said, “After I failed the first two attempts, my coach reminded me how much my life depends on this. I remembered my family and my country.”
“My family was on my mind when I failed the two attempts in clean and jerk, it meant a lot to me,” he added. Gururaja, who is an employee of the Indian Air Force, equalled his personal best of 249kg (111kg+138kg) to finish second.
“When I started in 2010, in the first month of my training, I was so frustrated because I didn’t even know how to lift a bar. It was too heavy for me,” he said.
“I remember I had seen Sushil Kumar wrestle in the 2010 CWG, I was just starting weightlifting at that time. When I saw him I really wanted to take up wrestling.
Then I met my coach Rajendra Prasad who taught me weightlifting.”
“I was trying to be a 42kg category wrestler and it (weightlifting) seemed impossible to me. Eventually I got a hang of it,” he added. “I still enjoy wrestling, I still love the sport a lot.
I will prepare for the Olympics, I have got a lot of support from the national federation and everyone who has been part of my journey. All my coaches have shaped me.”