The 17-year-old also spoke about wanting to grow up and be like Mirabai Chanu.
Panchami Sonowal, who won the gold medal in the 49kg weightlifting category in the ongoing Khelo India Youth Games in Madhya Pradesh, belongs to Dhemaji district of Assam. It is one of the most backward areas of Assam. To run the family, Panchami’s father runs a dhaba in Dhemaji and her brother drives an auto to supplement the family’s income.
Panchami has many difficulties in her life but oblivious to them, she is concentrating on her game as she has full support from her family. Panchami, who considers India’s Olympic medalist Mirabai Chanu as her inspiration, now aims to win a medal in the Commonwealth Games for the country after winning gold in Indore in the Khelo India Youth Games 2022 Madhya Pradesh.
According to the Asian Development Bank, Dhemaji is the most flood-affected district of Assam. The situation is so grave that the flood situation persists here for six months from April to September. Panchami’s family is living amidst these miseries and Panchami who practices only in Dhemaji is only looking forward.
The 17-year-old cheerful Panchami said,- My father runs a dhaba and my brother drives an auto, but they give in their all for me to keep up with the needs of my sport. I practice regularly and my dream is to win a medal in the Commonwealth Games for the country in the coming years.
Panchami said that earlier she had participated in the Nationals held in Nagercoil, Tamil Nadu. There she won gold with 70 KG (snatch) and 91 KG (national youth record) in clean and jerk.
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Panchami said,- This time I could lift only 65 and 89 weights. I don’t have any injury but after the nationals, I practiced less. Ritika V. of Tamil Nadu would not have scored better than me in snatch (69) if I had been in practice.
Panchami agreed that the competition was tough and she was not expecting it. According to Panchami, I did not expect that the competition would be so tough. The competition in Khelo India Youth Games is getting tougher and tougher. Ritika was in Nationals. She is a good player and I am going to face her many times in the days ahead.”
In girls’ 49kg, Panchami won gold with a total of 154kg (snatch 65, clean and jerk 89kg) while Ritika V. won silver with a total of 153kg (snatch 68, clean and jerk 85kg) after a tough competition. Koel Bar (West Bengal) got a total of 147 kg (snatch 64, clean and jerk 83 kg) and won the bronze.
Panchami was playing her third Khelo India Youth Games. Regarding the arrangements made for Khelo India Youth Games 2022 MP, Panchami said, – The arrangements here are excellent. The facility is good.
Panchami had earlier participated in the Khelo India Youth Games held in Pune and Guwahati. In Pune, she competed in the 45 kg weight category, where she was not ranked, and then in Guwahati, she debuted in the 49 kg weight category, where she finished fourth.
The weight category in which Panchami is, belongs to Mirabai Chanu, who won an Olympic medal for India. Panchami considers Mirabai as her inspiration. Panchami said, Meera di is my inspiration in the game. I have never met her but I watched her from close quarters and I want to be like her.”
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