On the opening day of the World Powerlifting Championships held in England on October 13, the Indian contingent performed exceptionally well and bagged two gold medals and two silver medals.
The dedicated efforts of these powerlifters in their respective events paid off on the first day of the three-day event.
Mukesh Singh Gehlot, who won a gold the at World Powerlifting Championship in 2013, clinched the gold medal for the second time in the 125 kg raw category. Gaurav Sharma, who won four medals at the Commonwealth Games in 2007, also bagged a gold medal at the this championship in the 140 kg raw category.
According to The Hindu, in a powerlifting competition, lifts may be performed equipped or unequipped. They are referred to as ‘Raw’ lifting or ‘Classic’ lifting, respectively, in the International Powerlifting Federation. In the powerlifting context, equipment refers to a supportive bench shirt or squat/deadlift suit.
Mukesh holds the national record for winning the much-coveted Mr. India title four times. He belongs to Kakrola village near New Delhi and was born into a family of farmers. Inspired by his family members and friends, many of whom had a background in sports, Mukesh started practising bodybuilding when he was 19. While speaking to Indian Bodybuilding, he said, “My strong support has been my elder brother, Kulweer Singh. He helped me in every way possible. He used to give me money that I needed for my gym and diet. Not just financial, he was also my moral support. I can never thank him enough. Another person I want to mention is my wife. When I got married I was in a job. Then I decided to quit it and do full-time bodybuilding. She supported me through everything. She told me to do what I feel is right and stood by me. Even till date, she takes care of my diet. She prepares all my meals. She is my strength.”
Gaurav Sharma, who belongs to New Delhi also, trained under the fabled Dronacharya awardee Bhupendra Dhawan.
The two silver medals were bagged by Vaibhav Rana (125 kg) and Kanwardeep Singh (110 kg).