India Sports

Arjuna Awardees in Weightlifting

Weightlifting figured among international sports for the first time in 1896, when it was included in Athens Olympics. Weightlifting was again included in Belgium Olympic Games in 1920, which were held in Antwerp and the sport continued to be figured in the Olympic Games held during the World War II. In India, the game of strength first hit the headlines, when an Indian weightlifter competed in the Summer Olympics in 1936 in Berlin. Though the man from India came at 15th place, weightlifting picked up in India as a sport after that.

Indian women from Manipur brought fame and glory to the country by winning medals at various international competitions. At Tehran World Weightlifting Championship in 1957, an Indian weightlifter Mookan attained 8th place and in the lightweight category another Indian Alok Nath ranked at 10th place.

Continuing the trend, Karnam Malleswari an Indian weightlifter from Andhra Pradesh won three silver medals in Asian championship in 1992 in Thailand. She is a star woman weightlifter of India, who has repeatedly brought honor to the country. Her accomplishments also include winning a bronze medal in Summer Olympics in Sydney in the year 2000. In December 1993, she won the gold medal followed by another victory at Asian Championship in 1995. In Asian Games in 1998, she won the silver medal. During her active sporting career, she won 11 gold medals, three silver medals and one prestigious Olympics bronze. Interestingly her record includes an amazing feat of winning national championship for nine years.

The other Indian weightlifting stars include Jeevan Jyoti, Sushmita Laha, Manitombi Devi from CRPF and Kunjurani Devi. Indian weightlifters continued their excellent performances in commonwealth games especially in jerk. Karunakaran brought a gold medal home and made many records in the 80s. To succeed as a professional weightlifter, you have to start practicing right from your teen years. A strong determination, support from family, and excellent coaches are a must to make a career in weightlifting in India.

There is no dearth of talents in India and we need more participants to represent India in weightlifting at international events. We also need more local level competitions and financial support to be given to the aspiring weightlifters to promote this game in India. In India, the young weightlifters also face the problem of well equipped institutes and training centers. The coaches and trainers available are not up to the mark and they basically do not know how to prepare the contestants for the international events.

Another big issue is lack of equipment and world class facilities for the weightlifters. Some of the aspiring weightlifters are forced to practice in old fashioned and dingy gyms, which are not at all fit for training for international competitions. Another issue faced by the Indian athletes and sportspersons is lack of financial support from the government. As a result the sportspersons are not able to focus on training and their energies are wasted in earning a livelihood. They always feel financially insecure and that is the reason many a talented weightlifters discontinue their hobby because of financial compulsions.

List of Arjuna Award Winners in Weightlifting

YearName of recipient
1961A.N. Ghosh
1962L.K. Dass
1963K.E. Rao
1965B.S. Bhatia
1966M. L. Ghosh
1967S. J. Gabriel
1970A. K. Dass
1971S.L. Salwan
1972A.K. Mandal
1974S. Vellaiswamy
1975Dalbir Singh
1976K. Balamuruganandam
1978M.T. Selvan
1979E. Karaunakaran
1981B.K. Satpathy
1982Tara Singh
1983V. K. Daroga
1985M.C. Bhaskar
1986J.M. Sapra
1987G. Devan
1989Jyotsna Dutta
1990R. Chandra
1990N. Kunjarani
1991C. Adak
1993Bharati Singh
1994K. Malleswari
1997Paramjit Sharma
1997N. Laxmi
1998Satheesha Rai
1999Dalbir deol
2000S. C. Thingbaijan
2002T. M. Muthu
2006Geeta Rani
2011K. R.Kumar
2012N.S. Chanu

Last Updated on 09/11/2012