There are times, when failure is a blessing in disguise. Weightlifter Sukhen Dey, an Indian medal hope in the 56kg category, will vouch for the maxim.
He took to the sport after an unsuccessful stint in body-building. “Like any other kid, I wanted to have a good physique and joined the gym at age 13, not knowing it took time to build muscles. I could lift heavy weights easily but somehow my muscles did not develop even after spending hours in the gym. I stopped but during that period I went to a district-level weightlifting competition and I liked it,” Sukhen told the Hindustan Times on Saturday.
Confident he could lift weights, Sukhen participated in the next district-level competition and won. There’s been no looking back for the Howrah lad.
“Those who don’t know me can hardly say that I am a weightlifter, as most of them are stockily-built,” said the 22-year-old gold medallist in Commonwealth Championships.
Sukhen’s joining the Army Sports Institute, Pune, in 2004 was the first turning point of his career. The second was training under Hungarian coach, Imran Zasuga, in 2007-08.
Talking about his prospects in the mega event, the 5’2’’ lifter said, “I am confident of winning silver but the thing is it is always said ‘you lost the gold’, so, I’m aiming for the latter. As far as the competition goes, Malaysia are the only nation I expect a fight from, especially from Ibrahim, in my weight category.”
Sukhen believes Rustam Sarang (64kg), K Ravi (69kg), Sudhir Kumar (77kg) are the other medal prospects among Indian men.
On how the team coped with the recent controversy after some of the lifers tested positive, Dey said the federation supported them during the crises. “It was unfortunate that a thing like that happened just a few weeks before the Games, but our federation gave us full support, telling us they would take care of everything and that we should focus on their performance.”