They don’t need lip service, just some basic equipment

  • Saurabh Duggal, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: May 13, 2014 19:57 IST

The para-lifting event at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games has 12 medals on offer, including four gold, but the Indian squad is eying glory sans basic equipment.

The national camp at the Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) centre in Gandhinagar has been on since May 1 but the centre lacks lifting rods, disc weights and bench.

All that the campers can do is train in the gym with fixed weight machines, treadmills and other cardio-exercise machines, but this isn’t of use for the differently-abled lifters.

In the name of lifting equipment, the gym has a rod weighing 8-10kgs, whereas the rod in the competition weighs 20kg. The total disc weights measure up to 70kg, while the men lifters require weights of 200kg.

“The director of the Gandhinagar centre can give you the ground reality, but for sure I will look into the matter,” Jiji Thomson, director general, SAI, told HT.

Unlike other multi-discipline games, para-events are held simultaneously in the Commonwealth Games and the medal count is included in the country’s overall tally.

In Glasgow, there will be two weight categories, 72kg and +72kg for men and 61kg and +61kg for women. India will be represented by Rajinder Singh Rahelu, Sachin Choudhary and Farman Basha (men), Sakina Khatun and Roshni Rinke (women). Sadanand Malashetty is the coach.

Due to the lack of facilities at Gandhinagar, only two lifters have reported so far for the camp.

“We want the para-lifting camp to be held with the able-bodied lifters at NIS Patiala, so that they can train better and there won’t be problems with the equipment. Without proper training how come we expect medals,” said Rajesh Tomar, president, Paralympic Committee of India (PCI).

Going by rankings, two of the Indian lifters could land a medal in Glasgow.

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