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Monday, May 20, 2024

Son of Paan seller makes the nation proud, wins the first medal for India at CWG 2022

Weightlifter Sanket Sargar grabs Silver medal in men’s 55kg weight division at Birmingham on Saturday

Who would have thought a boy from Sangli (a small town in Maharashtra) could go on from selling paan at his father’s shop to winning a silver medal in commonwealth games? No one. But the boy believed in himself that one day, he would make his nation proud. And on Saturday, that boy, Sanket Sargar lived his dreams while scripting history. Not only did he win the silver medal, but Sanket also equalled his national record (snatch) at CWG 2022. The 21-year-old had to compromise with silver as he was a real contingent in that gold medal race. His injury didn’t allow him to go for gold as in the second attempt of clean & jerk, he faced major trouble in his right elbow. As soon as his 2nd attempt failed, Sanket was really looking in pain, holding his injured elbow with another hand. Despite that, he was fully focused & motivated to perform 3rd attempt and try to bring gold to India. But he couldn’t resist the pain in his elbow. The injury looked severe still he went for that gold showing the bravery of a young boy from Sangli.

Injured Sanket Sargaron podium with his silver medal   Image credit: to respective owners
Injured Sanket Sargaron podium with his silver medal   Image credit: to respective owners

Sanket total after the snatch and clean & jerk round came out to be 248kg. He was leading with 6 kgs from the then-second placed Aniq Mohamad of Malaysia in the snatch portion. Sanket successfully attempted 113kg in snatch and the hopes for gold were very high but luck had his own choice. His elbow injury prevented him from getting gold. His first and only successful attempt of 135 kg in the clean & jerk portion confirmed his silver medal. Malaysian weightlifter Aniq Mohamad won the gold by getting a total of 249kgs.

Sanket isn’t satisfied with his performance but the whole nation is applauding for his efforts. Getting a CWG silver isn’t an easy task at all. He made the nation proud. With his podium finish, he became the first Indian to win a medal at CWG 2022 held in Birmingham.

PM of India was quick enough to congratulate Sanket Sargar on his silver-winning performance via his Twitter handle.

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“Exceptional effort by Sanket Sargar!  His bagging the prestigious Silver is a great start for India at the Commonwealth Games. Congratulations to him and best wishes for all future endeavours,” wrote PM Modi on Twitter.

Very few of us know the hometown of Sanket. He hails from Sangli, a small town in western India which has a strong tradition of weightlifting. Sanket made a dream of competing in the commonwealth games back in 2018 when he saw Gururaja Poojari winning silver in the men’s 56kg category at CWG 2018 (Gold Coast). He decided that he will compete in the next CWG and started working hard for it. By that time, he was already trained for 5 years as a weightlifter. He started his weightlifting journey when he was 13. His father Mahadev Sargar always wanted to be a sportsperson but he couldn’t. Now, when his son won silver in CWG, he must be living his own dreams through his son’s achievement. A proud father couldn’t have asked for anything more from his 21-year-old son.

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Sanket Sargar talked about his days when he used to sell paan at his father’s shop: “In the past, my customers who knew I was a weightlifter would ask why I was working there. But it is part of who I am. The only thing is that earlier people knew it just as Sanket pan tapri. Now they should know it as Commonwealth Games medallist Sanket Pan tapri.”

Sanket Sargar at his Pan shop [credit: special arrangement]
Sanket Sargar at his Pan shop [credit: special arrangement]

Before he joined the national weightlifting camp in Patiala last year, Sanket regularly helped out at the family-owned tea stall. He also managed to train and attend his college. His deduction to achieve something big has to be inspirational for thousands. His interesting story must be heard by everyone who gives excuses every time. He managed everything at such a small age and today the whole nation is saluting him. This boy is just 21 years old and has a bright future ahead of him already. We wish him a speedy recovery & all the very best for his future matches.

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Mangalam Shri Tiwari
Mangalam Shri Tiwari, Author Worldly Voice

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