Weightlifting: Who is Indian teen sensation Harshada Sharad Garud?
Harshada Sharad Garud, on Monday, became the first Indian weightlifter to claim a gold medal at the IWF Junior World Championships in Heraklion, Greece. The Pune-based sportsperson lifted a total of 153 kg in the 45-kg category for women. She lifted 70 kg in the snatch and 83 kg in the clean and jerk section. Turkey's Bektas Cansu grabbed silver. Here are more details.
Harshada was elated after the win. She said that it will take her some time to sink in the glory of winning the Junior World Championship title. "I am so happy, I can't comprehend what's happening, I am struggling to express my happiness right now. It will take some time to sink in," said Harshada in her conversation with PTI.
#First GOLD 🥇for India 🇮🇳 at IWF World Junior #Weightlifting Championships 2022— Dept of Sports MYAS (@IndiaSports) May 2, 2022
Harshada Garud Sharad bagged GOLD medal in Women's 45kg category 🏋♀️
Congratulations, young champion! You've made us all proud! 😍#JeetKaJazba pic.twitter.com/MLHsABky4v
Harshada is only the fourth weightlifter to have won medals for India at the Junior World Championships. Mirabai Chanu and Jhilli Dalabehera had won bronze back in the 2013 and 2018 editions, respectively. Achinta Sheuli had pocketed silver in 2021. Harshada pulled clean lifts in each of her six attempts. She was the only individual to achieve the feat among the eight weightlifters.
Of six successful attempts, Harshada lifted 64 kg, 67 kg, and 70 kg in snatch. Meanwhile, she lifted 78 kg, 81 kg, and 83 kg in the clean and jerk section to win the gold medal.
Bektas Cansu from Turkey finished second. She had lifted a total of 150 kg (65kg + 85kg). She was the best in the clean and jerk section (85 kg). Meanwhile, Moldova's Hincu Teodara-Luminita claimed bronze at the event. She lifted 149 kg (67 kg + 82 kg). India's Anjali Patel finished fifth, lifting a total weight of 148 kg (67 kg + 81 kg).
Separate medals are handed out for snatch, clean and jerk, and for total lift at the continental and World Championships. However, the scenario is a bit different in the Olympics. Only one medal is awarded, which is for the total lift.
Harshada hails from Vadgaon Maval, near Pune. She took up weightlifting as a 12-year-old in 2016, as per her father's instructions. Sharad Garud is a former state-level weightlifter. He had asked her to focus on weightlifting and at the same time, have a go at running. She is currently a first-year student (Bachelor of Arts) at Savitribai Phule Pune University.
Harshada won gold at the 2020 Khelo India Youth Games in the Under-17 category. She had lifted a total of 139 kg in the women's 45 kg category. She is a part of the eight-member Indian team for the ongoing IWF Junior men's and women's World Weightlifting Championship in Greece. The team comprises six women and two men.