Ganjam girl wins gold in weightlifhting

Pinki Pradhan, a girl of class VIII, won gold medal in the PYKKA All-India Rural National Weightlifting Competition being held in Ranchi in Jharkhand from March 10 to 14.

She had competed in 48 kg category. She won gold medal by lifting a total of 91 kg that included 40 kg lift in snatch and 51 kg in clean and jerk. This is second national level medal for this budding female weight lifter.

She won a bronze medal in School National Weight Lifting Competition held in Guwahati, Assam, in January.

Pinki hails from remote Tumba village in Ganjam district and is a student of Gram Vikas Residential School at Kankia. Her training under Khel Vikas project for the past one and a half years is said to be the catalyst in her progress and achievement in weightlifting.

The Khel Vikas project is a joint initiative of Odisha-based rural development organisation, Gram Vikas, and Delhi-based sport development organisation, Pro Sport Development.

Several youngsters from rural areas are being groomed as future sportspersons under Khel Vikas project. Pinki as well several of her compatriots are being trained for weightlifting under this project.

The weightlifting programme at Kankia's Khel Vikas academy is overseen by Ramesh Chandra Padhy from Berhampur, who was one of initial coaches of Olympian and Arjuna Awardee, K. Ravi Kumar, who hails from Berhampur and Mr. Cormac Whelan from Ireland.

Mr Whelan said, "Pinki has toiled hard and results of her efforts have started to show up”.