Staff Reporter

The powerlifting champion is on a hunt - for sponsors and a job.

HYDERABAD: She seemed an unusual visitor, attired in her tracksuit, holding her four gold medals, waiting to meet the Vice-Chairman of Hyderabad Urban Development Authority.

Twentyfour-year-old Tejaswini Naidu, who won the title of `Strong Woman of India' at the recently-held Senior Nationals' Powerlifting competition in Uttaranchal, had a reason to be there.

She came to thank HUDA Vice-Chairman Jayesh Ranjan, who was instrumental in getting her a sponsorship for Rs.20,000 for her special diet ahead of the nationals.

And that went a long way in ensuring an impressive performance.

Now, it time again to scout for sponsors for the forthcoming Senior World Championship to be held in Norway in November.

A native of Visakhapatnam, Tejaswini, who started training in powerlifting from the age of 14, has none to back her except her mother who ekes a living by tailoring.

The special diet

A special diet comprising protein powder costs Rs.20,000 a month and enhances the performance levels of the participant, she says. After shifting to the city for better training facilities, Tejaswini got Rs.3 lakhs from Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh to train for six months.

It helped her bag a silver medal in the Commonwealth competition-2005.

Tejaswini is confident she can bring laurels to the country at the 60 kg category in the World championship if she gets sponsors to meet her training and fitness expenses. Presently training at Jai Hanuman Vyayamshala under coach Ramesh Babu, her immediate concern is to deposit Rs. 25,000 to take part in selection trials in Bhilai to be held from September 19 to 23.

The sad part is though a graduate and holding a world rank in powerlifting, she doesn't have a job.