"I want to dedicate this medal to my country"
With successful wins under their belt, Indian powerlifters have flourished within the strength sport of powerlifting.
During competition mode, these strong Indian individuals have often lifted the maximum weight across various disciplines. These include deadlift, squat and bench press.
Indian powerlifters belonging from across India have become world champions at the junior and senior levels.
They have been victorious at state and national tournaments, along with winning on the world stage.
The Russian capital, Moscow, has been a lucky city for many of them. Others have also found success in Europe, including England
Besides men, women are also competing and lifting trophies at global events. For many of these Indian powerlifters, it has been about pushing their physical and mental limits.
To be the best, Indian powerlifters have taken training seriously as a juggling act whist in education or when working.
We present 7 fantastic Indian powerlifters who have made a positively powerful impact in the sport.
Mukesh Singh Gehlot
Mukesh Singh Gehlot is one of the most famous Indian powerlifters. Familiar as Guru Ji, he was born in Haryana state, India, on May 1, 1978.
After graduating in Mechanical Engineering, he became a superstar in powerlifting for India.
He has many powerlifting accomplishments to his name. Mukesh won two gold medals at the 2012 British Open Powerlifting Championships.
He has won the 2013 and 2016 World Powerlifting Championships. In 2013, He gained a historic gold victory in the 700kg Deadlift weight. He beat Mike Overkemp from the Netherlands by 27 kg.
In the 2016 championship, he was competing under the 125 kg Raw weight category.
In 2017, he also became the first Indian to win a gold medal at the Olympia, Pro Powerlifting Division.
Gaurav is one of the best Indian powerlifters hailing from NewDelhi. It was at the age of seventeen that he took up the sport.
He is a two-time powerlifting world champion. After securing his first gold (140kg Raw) at the 2016 WPU World Championships in England, he told IANS:
“I am very happy to have won a medal and that too a gold. I want to dedicate this medal to my country and my coach Bhupender sir.
Its a tough championship but my hard work and my coach’s guidance helped me a lot. I wish to win more of such events.”
Bhupender was influential in encouraging Gaurav to shift from weightlifting to powerlifting.
Gaurav won his second gold at the 2016 World Championships.
Mohammed Azmat is one of the most enterprising Indian powerlifters. Amzat who comes from Bangalore, Karnataka, India has more than twenty-five years of powerlifting experience.
Over the years, he has made a big commitment to training, despite working full-time.
He picked up gold at the Moscow GPA Worlds in the Full Powerlifting and Deadlifts Sub Masters Category.
He also claimed gold at the Russian WPC Asian Championship in Full Powerlifting and Deadlifts Open Category.
With a bodyweight of 97kgs, by deadlifting 295 kg, at the Asian WPC, Azmat set a world record.
Saksham Yadav was a former powerlifter from India. Nicknamed Bablu, he was born in Nangloi, Delhi, India on October 7, 1993.
With his passion lying in powerlifting, he left his engineering course to pursue the sport. He won many Powerlifting Championships at the national and state level.
At the 2016 Junior Powerlifting World Championship in Europe, he came top to win gold.
In 2017, he also achieved gold glory at the Powerlifting World Championships. Moscow in Russia was the host city for this competition.
Saksham sadly left this world on January 7, 2017, after not being able to recover, following a road accident.
Suffering severe injuries, he died from a heart attack.
Dr Majiziya Bhanu
Dr Majiziya Bhanu is one of the strongest Indian Powerlifters. She is a Hijab-wearing athlete from Kerala.
After being barred from the boxing ring due to wearing braces, she had taken up powerlifting.
She began powerlifting training whilst studying dentistry at college. From 2017 to 2018, she had won over nine gold medals at the national and state level.
She became a gold world champion twice in 2018. She was the winner of the World Powerlifting Cup and World Deadlift Championship that took place in Moscow, Russia.
Majiziya also received the ‘Best Lifter Award’ at the 2018 World Cup.
In 2019, she successfully defended her World Cup in Russia, bagging gold yet again.
S Logapriya is one of the most inspiring Indian powerlifters. Raised by a single mum, she comes from Pattukottai, District Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, India.
To distract herself from the situation, Logapriya took up powerlifting. This was during a time when her parents were not on friendly terms.
She had a very strict training regime. Before attending college every day, she was training at 6 am. Post-college she was back training till around 9:30 pm.
She has successfully won the National Powerlifting Championships twice.
Rishitaa Jain is one of the most talented Indian powerlifters. Coming from New Delhi, India, her powerlifting journey began with her training in April 2017.
Rishitaa told The Better India, that following strength improvement and frequent exercising, she was ready to power lift by 2017.
Rishita added that from 2018 onwards she went on to compete at the state and national levels. This is where she collected various metals including gold.
At only seventeen, she bagged four yellow metals at the Commonwealth Powerlifting Championship. This tournament had taken place in Canada.
According to Rishitaa, her mentors and senior team members gave her the belief and reassurance.
Their motivation saw Rishitaa picking four gold medals in different categories.
There have also been many other powerlifters from India. These include Javed Mehta, Amandeep Singh and Anoop Singh, Mumin Khan and Showkat Ahmad Khan to name a few.
The aforementioned are India’s champions in powerlifting. They have made India proud, by bringing laurels to the country.
It is quite that these Indian powerlifters have enjoyed the sport and achieved phenomenal things.
They can be a very big inspiration for the next generation of powerlifters who can follow in their footsteps.
One can expect many more powerlifting world champions to come from India in years ahead and across future decades.