The Director General of the Sports Authority of India, Desh Deepak Verma, goaded the coaches to guard the young lifters from taking short-cuts to victory, as he felicitated the strong Indian contingent that returned with 45 medals including 29 golds from the Commonwealth weightlifting championship in Samoa, at the SAI headquarters here on Tuesday.

The Indian contingent had swept all the team honours in the youth, junior apart from the men's and women's sections.

“A coach has to be like a friend, philosopher and guide”, said the SAI DG, as he encouraged the lifters to strive for permanent happiness, with a clean performance.

“That gold will shine for ever”, he said.

The president of the Indian Weightlifting Federation, Member of Parliament B. P. Baishya, was equally thrilled with the performance but warned one and all that India was passing through a critical phase in its fight against doping.

The national federation president recalled with pride the words of the International Weightlifting Federation president, Dr. Tamas Ajan, that India was one of the cleanest federations in the world, during the World Championship in Paris last year.

Multiple violations

The Indian federation had been suspended for multiple doping violations prior to the Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

Stating that it was a good sign of things to come, Baishya promised that India would win medals in the World Youth Championship to be held in Kosice, Slovakia, from September 17 to 22.

Expressing his happiness about the fine performance of the juniors in particular, the SAI DG, said that the support for the juniors would be improved a lot further in terms of diet and food supplements. He said that talented juniors with promise would be roped into the Vision 2020 Olympics scheme.

While the lifters and the coaches were presented a token of appreciation, it was announced that the cash awards would be presented to them in due course.

The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awardee and multiple world championship medallist, Kunjarani Devi, associated with the development of the lifters, said that the performance of the lifters was a good sign.

She also assured that she would make her best contribution in terms of knowledge and guidance to enrich Indian weightlifting a lot further.

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