A grand reception was organised for Vikas Thakur, who won the silver medal in the men's 85 kg class weightlifting competition at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland,on his first visit to his native village of Patnaun. His family lives in Ludhiana where his father works in Indian Railways.
BJYM activists led by their national leader, Narendra Attri, welcomed Thakur at Tounidevi on his way to Patnaun. People danced in joy and celebrated the homecoming of their native son.
Born on November 14, 1993, Thakur won the silver medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games by lifting 333 kg (150+183) to bag the silver while Richard Patterson of New Zealand won the gold with a total lift of 335 kg (151+184).
While talking to village residents, he said his aim was to get a medal at the Rio Olympics and to bring laurels to the Indian weightlifting team at the world level. He admitted there were very facilities in India in general and at the Ludhiana weightlifting and body building club in particular, where he trained at one point of time.
Thakur said he wanted more facilities for Indian athletes to match those offered to foreign athletes. "Indian coaches are talented and they can produce many more champions, but we lag behind due to poor facilities. There is need for more sports training equipment and other facilities to win medals at international competitions.” He added.
He said was overwhelmed by the reception he got during his visit.