The sporting success of two sons of the soil has brought a bit of joy to the people of Sikkim even as the Himalayan state continues to simmer in social strife following the Supreme Court verdict that extended income tax exemption to the Indian-origin settlers in the state.
A day after ace archer Tarundeep Rai won a gold medal in the Final NTPC National Ranking Archery Tournament in Delhi on Sunday, fitness fanatic Sanjay Kumar Chettri (Budhathoki) has been selected to represent the country in the WFF Pro-Am Universe Championship 2023 to be held in Mexico from July 14 to 16.
A Padma Shri recipient and multiple Olympian Tarundeep had won the gold in the senior men’s recurve event by defeating Parth Solanki in the final by 6-2 points.
The 39-year-old from Namchi in south Sikkim had earlier beaten his quarterfinal and semifinal opponents by a similar margin.
For Sanjay, also aged 39, his selection in the Indian team means he will be representing the country in a major world event for the third consecutive time. “Pray for me and bless me so that I can bring a medal for my country and, of course, my Sikkim,” said Sanjay.
The Sikkim strongman had earlier participated in last year’s WFF Championship, which was held in Bangkok, where he had secured a creditable fourth position.
He had also won a bronze medal at the World Powerlifting Championship in Moscow in December 2021.
Born in a small village of Rorathang in east Sikkim, Sanjay lives in Rangpo. He is the president of WWF India’s Sikkim unit and also doubles up as a fitness trainer. He owns a chain of gyms in the state under the brand name Body Vibe Gym.