The power Harjinder Kaur confirmed within the tug-of-war opened doorways for her to change into a weightlifter. Her robust arms, she says, had been developed by reducing fodder. It was laborious labour on what is called the toka, a chaff reducing machine which requires the operator to show an enormous wheel with blades.
The 25-year-old weightlifter, a bronze medal winner within the 71 kg on the Commonwealth Games, is now reaping the rewards of the laborious work she put in over time, on the sector and whereas lifting weights on a barbell. Kaur lifted a complete of 212 kg to complete behind England’s Sarah Davies and Canadian Alexis Ashworth in a excessive drama occasion and claimed the bronze medal.
Her household lived in a one-room home, they owned six buffaloes and work on contracted farmland. But life was laborious in Mehas village close to Nabha, she says. Kabaddi, a well-liked sport within the hinterlands of Punjab was her past love. Sport, kabaddi first, then tug of warfare and later weightlifting, helped her uplift her household.
“My father would give me Rs 350 for the return fare from Nabha to the college hostel in Sri Anandpur Sahib and another Rs 350 as pocket money. I felt ashamed to ask for more money,” Harjinder stated earlier than her competitors on the CWG. “If I win a medal, I would say that the fodder I cut on a toka helped me build strong arms and it helped me when I took up weightlifting,” Harjinder added.
She is the youngest baby of Sahib Singh and Kuldeep Kaur. The teen would play kabaddi on the Government Girls School at Nabha. She would cycle 5 kilometres to get there. When she joined faculty, in Anandpur Sahib, coach Surinder Singh made her play for the school Kabaddi staff. An yr later, Kaur joined the sports activities wing at Punjabi University, Patiala the place coach Paramjeet Sharma noticed her expertise.
Her robust arms, the coach felt, would assist her stroll into tug of warfare groups. The 1990 Commonwealth Games champion (69kg) in weight lifting had already deliberate her profession path. The tug of warfare was solely step one.
“I was surprised at how much power she had as a teenager when we put her into the tug of war teams. She undertook some national tours. It took some time to convince her to shift to weightlifting. There were times when she would return to her village and did not show too much of interest in weightlifting. But she would always return. Today I can say it was the right decision to make her a weightlifter,” Sharma, 65, stated.
“Sometimes Harjinder got carried away because of her own power. In weightlifting, power without technique is disastrous. She needed a mentor and guide,” he added.
“As she had a good physique, we did not have to worry about her power. But sometimes she would go all out in one lift. I had to make her understand that it does not work that way. I wanted her to maintain good stamina. So she started with running before I worked on things like split snatch, pull and jerk and wrist position.,” Sharma stated.
Her father and elder brother Pritpal Singh had been her fixed assist. They would take loans from family and associates. The greatest quantity borrowed was Rs 50,000 from the village financial institution to assist Kaur. Soon Harjinder together with elder brother Pritpal Singh was serving to repay a part of the mortgage. In 2017, she turned the state weightlifting champion and began profitable money prizes. By this time brother Pritpal Singh was appointed as a clerk on probation foundation. His wage of Rs 10,000 helped ease the monetary pressure.
She went from power to power.
All India Inter University champion, silver on the Senior Nationals, silver within the Khelo India Inter University video games had been a few of her early podium locations.
When a lockdown was imposed due to Covid, Harjinder and different trainees shifted to educate Sharma’s dwelling. “I did not have my own barbell set. So I had to take a barbell set from the university with an undertaking and shifted to sir’s home,” Harjinder says. The coach’s mom, in her 90s, was in danger. So the trainees didn’t step out as a result of they didn’t wish to get contaminated and convey the virus dwelling.
“It helped that they trained in a group. It was light training but it helped keep them in share,” coach Sharma added.
Earlier this yr, she received the gold in 71 kg class in Senior Nationals in Orissa with a complete elevate of 208kg (92kg in snatch and 116 in clear and jerk). Soon she was included within the nationwide camp. “Coming to the camp made me not worry about things like physio or supplements or coaching. To see Mirabai (Chanu) didi and later take a selfie with her remains my special moment. Hopefully I can take a selfie with Mirabai didi after winning the CWG medal,” Harjinder stated.