Achinta Sheuli: I am confident of competing with world’s best weightlifters | More sports News

KOLKATA: Achinta Sheuli is, quite understandably, tired. The Commonwealth Games gold medalwinning weightlifter has been attending endless felicitations since he arrived home from Birmingham. Despite the busy schedule, the 20-year-old took time out to chat with TOI, share his experiences and expectations from the future.
Excerpts.
How was the feeling returning home after almost three years?
It was a great feeling, particularly as I was coming home with the reward that had kept me away from home for these three years. It felt nostalgic coming back to my village (Deulpur) and meet all my friends. So many people had turned up at the airport to receive me. Even in the village, the celebrations continued for days.
How busy have you been after returning from Birmingham?
Extremely busy. I wake up at 7 in the morning, and have to visit so many places. I manage to return home by 11 pm. Of course, I haven’t found time to train. I guess I can start training only after I go back to Patiala.
Aren’t you tired of felicitations?
Not yet. They do keep me busy, but never have I felt that that it is enough.

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Achinta Sheuli (Reuters Photo)
Looking ahead, what are your plans for the Paris Olympics?
I haven’t really started planning for Paris yet. It will start only after I return to Patiala. I will be able to plan only after I sit down with the coach.
At the CWG, you lifted 313 kgs (overall), but if we take the Tokyo Olympics as the benchmark, the bronze went to a lift of 342 kgs. Do you think you can bridge this gap?
My best is 320 kgs and I think I am capable of doing more than that. In fact, I am quite confident of doing much better than that. With good training and if everything goes well, I will manage to bridge this gap. My coach will finalise my training schedule and he will do it keeping everything in mind.
Have you recently competed with the world’s best in your category?
I have competed with them at the World Championships. I am confident I can compete with them, only thing is that we Indians do not have as much experience as they do. Weightlifting is slowly developing into a major sport in India.

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Achinta Sheuli (AP Photo)
Are you planning to change your weight category?
No, I will stick to 73kgs now. I am quite comfortable in this category.
In that case, you might have Jeremy Lalrinnunga as a rival soon…
We are great friends and I have never looked upon him as a rival. As such, we haven’t started preparing for the Olympics. Only after we start will we know whether we will be rivals or not.

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