It’s not easy waking up at wee hours training three times a day—- without any support from the state federation. But Budumuru Rajeswari and Boddenpalli Rajya Laxmi fully on private sponsorship took part in the 14th international women weightlifting Grand Prix event in Nagold Germany which concluded recently and clinched gold medal in their respective categories.
“ It was the first time that Indian women weightlifters tookpart in this event and getting such great results was beyond expectation “ says Rajya Laxmi who got gold in the 90 kg plus category. Agreeing with her Rajeswari says “ Our federation was not quite eager to send us to any international event they thought we will not stand a chance against European champions. Proving them wrong and beating former Olympians gave me a great boost. Now I don’t want to stop I want to train for the selection round of Commonwealth Games that’s scheduled for next year.
At the Grand Prix 108 weightlifters from 18 countries participated with around eight contestants in each category and beating them all is a great achievement feels their coach Raja Sekhar who accompanied them. Talking about their journey from national to international tournaments he says “ they trained hard for this tournament as they had to maintain a certain diet and weight. Seeing their hard work C B R Prasad agreed to sponsor us for the entire tournament. They trained with me at the CBR Academy of Sports and Education Gollor near shamshabad airport”. He adds “ if our sportspersons get a chance to participate in such international championships only then will they get the opportunity to mingle with other great champions. Such experiences matters.”
For both Rajya Laxmi and Rajeshwari the win means a lot more than a medal. “ I was a four time national champion but had to quit weightlifting after marriage. I came back to the sport a year ago. Since then I am taking one step at a time. Initially my family wasn’t keen to allow me to continue with the sport but with my consistent effort they agreed. Now after the win they are elated” she says.
On the other hand Rajeshwari’s family was in full support of her endeavours. “ Former Olympian weightlifter Karnam Malleswari is from our village in Srikakulam and my parents knew the value of weightlifting. So when I showed interest in the sport in class VII they readily agreed” she says.
Both Rajya Laxmi and Rajeshwari were joined by twenty one year old. Tejavath Sukanya who secured the sixth position in the 75 kg category at the same event. When they are not training they like to watch television for their daily dose of entertainment.
Courtesy Deccan Chronicle