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Updated: November 29, 2013 01:18 IST

Rahul lifts State’s glory to greater heights

V. V. Subrahmanyam
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Ragala Venkat Rahul
THE HINDU Ragala Venkat Rahul

Ragala Venkata Rahul wins two gold medals at the Commonwealth Youth and Junior Weightlifting Championship in Penang

Ragala Venkata Rahul, 17, lived up to the expectations with yet another impressive performance, winning two gold medals in the youth and junior categories at the ongoing Commonwealth Youth and Junior Weightlifting Championship in Penang (Malaysia) on Friday afternoon.

Rahul has won gold in the 77-kg category with a combined effort of 301 kg (140 in snatch and 160 in clean and jerk). The A.P. boy came up with similar efforts in both the categories to clinch the honours.

“I am delighted. My coaches are expecting better results after my recent performances in international meets. So, there was a little bit of pressure, but thanks to the support of the entire Indian contingent, I could pull of a gold medal,” says a beaming Rahul, a student of A.P. Sports School, Hakimpet.

Rahul looks at the latest gold as a “huge morale-booster” for the coming year in which some big events are lined up like the 2014 Asian Games.

“I hope to continue my good work till that mega event and come back home with a medal,” says the shy weightlifter.

“Competition is tough at this level, and it is never easy to win gold in any Asian meet, as every country looks to this event as a preparatory event for the major events ahead,” he says, thanking his mentor and secretary of A.P. Weightlifting Association Badeti Venkatramaiah (also in Penang as a technical official).

Rahul bagged a gold medal in the 77-kg category with a combined lift of 310 kg at the Asian Youth Games in Nanjing (China) after winning three gold in the Asian Youth Championship early this year. His other notable performances include two medals in the IWF Youth Boys World Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, early this year.

A.P. Sports School weightlifting coach Surmise Achou Singh of Manipur, who fine-tuned Rahul’s raw talent in the company of his deputy Pachipala Manikyalu, is not surprised.

“Rahul is a potential medallist in the 2016 Rio Olympics. He has all the qualities to be a world-class weightlifter, and more exposure at the highest level will only help to improve his performances,” attests the 67-year-old proud coach.

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