Weightlifter Achanta Shivali’s Triumph – A Story of Hardship and a Brother’s Sacrifice

There was no sleep last night in Deolpur, a small village in Howrah Panchla. Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham – Residents were glued to TV sets in anticipation of their own Achanta Shivali event in the men’s 73kg weightlifting. Achinta had entered the heaviest weight in his category and was a sure gold medallist. But, such is the fickle nature of sports, anything can happen on any given day. However, the young weightlifter lived up to his lofty billing and the expectations of Deolpur, winning the CWG record gold to give India its third ever gold medal of the Games. This came shortly after Jeremy Lalarenga fought through pain to give India its second gold medal in the men’s 67kg weightlifting.

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And as is the case with most Indian players, the 20-year-old’s triumph on the big stage was the reward for a long and arduous journey. Shivli’s father was a van driver who died in 2014, and it was her brother Aloke Shivli, who – Achinta’s father figure – fueled his younger brother’s ambition and his desire to become a weightlifter. He sacrificed his life.

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From childhood, both Achinta and her elder brother were interested in weightlifting. After Achinta’s win, News18 spoke to Alok, and with tears of joy, he said, “My brother and I have fought a long battle. We have been trained by Asthana Das since 2010. I started my career in weightlifting. Wanted to make a career and I also took my brother to Astana Das for training. I made it to Nationals, but then in 2013, our father passed away. The burden of running the family was on my shoulders but I helped my brother. He did not stop training and encouraged. ‘brother’ to do more. Now I have a small job with the fire brigade and we’re on the move. We are very happy [with Achinta’s success] And now that he’s gone up, I’ll try too. [weightlifting] Again”.

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Achinta has been an enthusiast ever since he started weightlifting in 2011. He came 4th in the Youth Nationals and joined the Army Sports Institute in 2015. In the same year, he was included in the Indian National Camp. He again trained at ASI in 2016 and 2017, after which he has been in the national camp since 2018. In 2015 he became a silver medalist at the Commonwealth Youth Championships and in 2018 added another silver at the Asian Youth Championships. He claimed both. Added another silver at the Senior and Junior Commonwealth Championships in 2019 and the World Junior Championships in 2021 and a gold medal in his weight category at the Commonwealth Senior Championships last year.

“She has struggled and she has struggled hard throughout her life,” a teary-eyed Purnima Sewli, Achinta’s mother, told News18. “I couldn’t give him anything. His father died. [early]but he made it”, he added.

Locals also say that both the brothers are fighters and that is why none of them slept last night and all were glued to TV sets. The moment they won, everyone joined in the celebration and took out a procession to celebrate the success of the young weightlifters. Sanjay Rai, a local resident of Deolpur said, “We are very happy that we did not sleep the whole night.

Good wishes for Achinta continue to pour in from Mamata Banerjee, Abhishek Banerjee and other national leaders.

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