Sanket Sargar made India proud by winning the country’s first medal in the Commonwealth Games 2022 held in Birmingham on Saturday. He finished second in the 55kg men’s final on Saturday and lifted a total of 248kg.
The medal journey was not an easy one and was full of struggle and inspiration.
Sanket’s adolescence was spent trying to strike a balance between getting up early to serve tea at his father’s ‘paan’ shop and finding time to train and study.
The 21-year-old lifter used to wake up at 5:30 every morning, serving tea to customers at his father’s ‘tapri’ in Sangli, a small town in Maharashtra.
He would then go for training, study during the day, and return to the shop for a second shift where he would prepare ‘paan’ for the customers. To increase fitness and increase strength, he used to go to the gym in the evening.
Sargar’s childhood coach Mayur Singhsane said, “Sanket sacrificed his entire childhood. From getting up at 5.30 am to making tea for customers to going to the gym in the evening, he dreamed of only one thing.”
“He had only one dream and that was to bring laurels to the country in weightlifting and give a good life to his family. Now his dream is coming true.”
Sanket’s father, Mahadev, had originally dreamed of becoming a weightlifter, but financial struggles got in the way.
Mahadev however tried to live his dream through his son and gave his all.
“Before joining TOPS, Sanket was neither a sponsor nor financially well off. His father would take care of his game by borrowing and we would take full care of his diet and exercise.
“Sometimes his father could return the money, sometimes not, but we never let it hinder Sanket’s training,” Singhasane explained.
“My father Nana Singhasane coached him from 2013-2015 and I coached him from 2017 to 2021 with the goal of Commonwealth Games. I was sure that he would win a medal. We only have talented kids from poor households and he is one of them. Were exceptionally talented, too,” he said.
(Inputs from PTI)