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Ravi snatches silver at Games

- State celebrates medal haul of Odia lifter

Berhampur, July 28: Berhampur’s golden boy Katulu Ravi Kumar, 27, may not have won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games this year, but his silver haul has made the country and well-wishers in his hometown proud.

Ravi Kumar’s silver-winning feat was 317 kg (142+175) lift in the 77-kg category at the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow on Sunday. But the record holder in 69kg category at the Delhi edition of the Games was not too content with his effort.

Back home, mother K. Suryakanta received a phone call from her son who was sad to have missed the gold.

In the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, Ravi had created a record by lifting a total weight of 321 kg (146 kg in snatch and 175 kg in clean and jerk) to win a gold medal.

Though Ravi had to be satisfied with the silver medal, fellow countrymen Satish Sivalingam rewrote the Games snatch record to win the gold.

Ravi, however, played a tactical game and began his snatch after most of the other competitors had made their three attempts by keeping the starting weight at 142kg. Though he failed in his first bid, Ravi had a clean lift of 142kg in his second attempt. In clean and jerk also, Ravi followed the same script as he began his attempt by keeping the starting weight high.

“Sorry, I failed to bag the gold,” Ravi told his mother over phone immediately after the event. His mother, who resides in Berhampur, consoled him and asked him to work on his next target.

“Now concentrate on the forthcoming weightlifting championships and you would definitely perform better,” she told her son.

His mother and neighbours, friends and well-wishers, who were awaiting the news from him, however, erupted into joyous cheers when Ravi bagged silver.

“I still feel happy. Ravi is physically fit and has recovered from his earlier injury to left shoulder. But he might have developed a fear psychosis after his injury. Also, he moved to 77kg from the 69kg category,” said Suryakanta, who distributed sweets to those who came to congratulate the proud mother.

Students at the Sports Hostel in Berhampur Stadium led by district sports officer Ganjam Akshya Patnaik visited Ravi Kumar’s house here this morning to congratulate Suryakanta. The district sports officer presented her a bouquet for her son’s silver haul at the Glasgow Games.

Members of the Veer Hanuman Club, where the weightlifter was groomed during his initial days from 2003 to 2006, distributed sweets to the people to celebrate the performance of Ravi Kumar.

Secretary of the club Narayan Sahu said: “I spoke Ravi over phone on Sunday, a few hours before his game. Here we performed offered puja to Goddess Budhi Thakurani and Lord Hanuman for his success.”

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik and governor S.C. Jamir also conveyed congratulatory messages on the success of Ravi Kumar.

The state government has announced a cash award of Rs 2.5 lakh, while Odisha Olympic Association will hand over Rs 50,000 to the weightlifter when he arrives here on his return from the Games.


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