Udupi, Aug 08, 2022: Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 Bronze medal winner in weightlifting P. Gururaja, a native of Vandse in Kundapura Taluk, Udupi district, was given a rousing welcome by the district administration on his arrival to the hometown in Udupi on Sunday.
Deputy Commissioner M. Kurma Rao and Municipal Commissioner Uday Shetty were among others who welcomed Mr. Gururaja. Mr. Rao later felicitated the medallist on behalf of the administration.
Speaking to reporters, Mr. Gururaja thanked everyone who supported him in clinching the Commonwealth Games medal. He was thrilled to be received at the Mangaluru International Airport by Dharmasthala Pattadhikari D. Veerendra Heggade (Mr. Gururaja did his under-graduation and got advanced training in weightlifting at Sri Dharmasthala Manjunatheshwara College, Ujire), member of Parliament Nalin Kumar Kateel and others.
There was no shortcut to success, Mr. Gururaja said, asking enthusiasts in sports to put in their complete effort in the field they love. Only regular practice makes one perfect, he said.
Competing with Canada’s Youri Simrad on July 30, Mr. Gururaja lifted a total of 269 kgs (snatch-118 kg; clean jerk-151 kg), one kg more than Mr. Simrad, to clinch the second medal for India in the CWG 2022.
Son of a truck driver
Born to truck driver Mahabala Poojari and homemaker Paddu Poojarthi, Mr. Gururaja, with eight siblings, had a tough beginning in life. His interest came to the fore at a very early stage when he was studying at the government primary school in Vandse, where his talent was encouraged. At the Mookambika High School, Kollur, physical education teacher Sukesh Shetty encouraged him in wrestling. Mr. Gururaja shifted to weightlifting while studying for graduation at the SDM College in Ujire, with the guidance of PE Director Rajendra Prasad.
Life was not easy for Mr. Gururaja as he could get little financial support from the family where his father was struggling to make ends meet. Mr. Gururaja used whatever prize money he received on his training and diet.
Though he had attempted to join the Army, his height (156 cm) came in the way. However, he got selected as an aircraftman with the Indian Air Force, thereby improving his situation. His household is much better thereafter, and now Mr. Gururaja intends to build a spacious house in the village.
Courtesy: The Hindu