Kerala

Kerala women brave odds, lift glory at Almaty

Libas Sadhique and V. V. Arshana at the podium

Libas Sadhique and V. V. Arshana at the podium  

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They win medals at Asian Classic Powerlifting Championship in Kazakhstan

It was triumph of spirit for two Kerala women as they braved odds to lift themselves to glory at the Asian Classic Powerlifting Championship at Almaty in Kazakhstan earlier this month.

While V.V. Arshana of Peringome in Kannur returned with a rich haul of a gold and three silver medals, Libas Sadhique of Kaloor in Kochi had a gold medal in her kitty.

A month back, Arshana was doubtful of even participating in the championship.

She was running from pillar to post to collect ₹1.5 lakh to participate in the event. However, the support of well-wishers, including the staff and trainees at the Central Reserve Police Force Recruit Training Centre, who collected ₹50,000, ensured her participation in the event.

Arshana’s achievements

Arshana won the silver medal in Bench Press and Squat, while she received the gold in Deadlift. She participated in 84+category and won overall silver medal.

Daughter of V. Ibrahimkutty, a bus driver, Arshana is doing graduation at Mar Athanasius College in Kothamangalam. Interestingly, she was not even aware of the sport and was introduced to powerlifting just a year ago. Back in Kannur, she said it was a dream come true.

“I was introduced to the game after joining the college and until then I was not even aware of such a sport,” she said.

Mr. Ibrahimkutty said they always believed in her confidence and all they did was to support and fulfil her dreams. Arshana, who is training under coach Girish Haridas, has now set her eyes on university games and also looking forward to participating in world championships.

A triumphant return

For over a decade after marriage, Libas Sadhique, a homemaker and mother of two, tried to convince herself that her powerlifting days were truly behind her. She had a change of heart two years ago and started lifting weights again thanks to the support of her husband Sadhique Ali and family. That move paid dividends with her bagging gold medal lifting 84 kg in squat in the senior open category. In the process she even bettered her performance at the nationals, the qualifying event for the Asian championship, in which she had managed a third place finish.

Though she did participate in the nationals in 2017, her comeback after being crowned the national powerlifting champion a decade back, she did not manage to qualify for the Asian championship then.

“I have been practising for nearly three hours in the days leading up to the championship with the help of my coach Krishnakumar and I am happy that it paid off,” said Libas, who is now eyeing a medal in weightlifting at the Olympics where powerlifting is not a recognised event.

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Printable version | Jan 28, 2020 4:33:48 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/state-women-brave-odds-lift-glory-at-almaty/article30290372.ece

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