Chennai: Sathish Sivalingam, the premier weight-lifter has given the sport a new identity in the country. By becoming the first Indian male to win two Commonwealth gold medals in the sport, he is now hungry to succeed in Olympics.
News Today caught up with the champion who spoke about his inspiration, state of weightlifting in the country, ambition and much more.
Q: Your father was a weight lifter. How did your he inspire you to take up the sport?
A: He is my everything. Being a weightlifter he was the one who inspired me to take up the sport. But my mother too has an equal role in helping me shape my career.
Q: Did hailing from Sathuvacheri also help, since your village has a lot of weight-lifters?
A: Definitely. Since lot of them are passionate about the sport in the village, we get lot of co-partners to practice. The environment will also be competitive as there will be lot of national and international level athletes competing with you. It has definitely helped when I started my career at the age of 16.
Q: How hard was it to miss out an Asian Games medal after suffering injury?
A: It was a major injury and I couldn’t do much about it. I was very disappointed with it and it took me two to three months to recover.
Q: For the recovery you switched to Ayurveda treatment. What made you to take that decision?
A: I was recommended Ayurveda since it gives a quick and a permanent remedy. Go Sport Foundation, Bangalore helped me in the process. It was said that it will take four months to recuperate but Ayurveda helped me recover faster. Now I have started training.
Q: You are an icon for weightlifting in the country. But after you there is a big vacuum in the state so what needs to be done to develop the sport in here?
A: I have plans to build weightlifting academies in Tamilnadu to help the sport grow. I have built a gym near my house. The youngsters are getting trained there. The scenario for weight-lifting here is little-bit complicated. We need proper coaches and diplomats to develop the sport grow. And I feel Weightlifting must be developed in all the districts.
Q: What is your ultimate dream?
A: My ultimate aim is to win a Olympic medal. The qualification has started two months before. It will happen throughout the year. I am still recovering from the injury and will be participating in it soon.