Truck driver's son from Karnataka wins silver

Truck driver's son from Karnataka wins silver

Manipuri weightlifter Mirabai Chanu and Karnataka man Gururaja Poojary launched India's medal rush on the opening day of the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, on Thursday.  

Mirabai, who  had a forgettable outing at the  Rio Olympics, scripted a Games record with an effort of 196 kg in total in the women's 48 kg category to win India's first gold medal of the event. Mirabai didn't even manage a single clean lift at the Olympics  and the Manipuri lifter heaved a sigh of relief after her win.

"The moment is indescribable. I was determined to win a gold here and a lot of hard work had gone behind this. Luck didn't favour me at Rio but this performance is some sort of redemption," said Mirabai.  

Gururaja, son of a truck driver from Chittoor village in Kundapur,  clinched India's first medal of the meet with a silver in the men's 56 kg category.

Gururaja fought off a few nervous moments to finish second.

It appeared all but over for Gururaja when he failed in his first two attempts of clean and jerk. But the 26-year-old delivered when it mattered the most to finish with a total lift of 249 kg. "I could have won the gold but it was a tense final. The preparation was good for this event and I am happy that I have made my country proud," said Gururaja.
It was celebration time  at Chittoor as news of Gururaja's silver medal spread.

Son of Mahabala Poojary and Paddu Poojarthi, a home-maker, Gururaja is the fifth among six children of the couple.

"We had offered special prayers to Brahmalingeshwara and the Lord has heard our prayers," Mahabala said, adding that the family would celebrate once Gururaja returned home.

" He never demanded too much money from me and he would always be content with whatever he had. Many times, when he would get injured, I have advised him to quit the sport and do something else. But he is a fighter and he has made us all  proud today," Mahabala added.

Gururaja did his primary schooling in Vandse and later completed his PU from Sri Mookambika Institutions in Kollur.

The physical education trainer at the PU college, Sukesh Shetty, saw the spark in him  as he  pursued an  undergraduate degree at SDM College in Ujire. Coach Rajendra Prasad was then instrumental in his development.

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