Gold medal at Glasgow was a turning point for him: Sathish's father

The 25-year old Sathish defended his gold in the 77 kg category, won at the Glasgow Games in 2014, in some style, braving an injury to his thigh. He lifted a total of 317 kg (144kg+173kg) and was so far ahead of the competition that he forfeited his final clean and jerk lift.

Parents of Sathish Kumar Sivalingam rejoice his feat at their residence in Sathuvachari hamlet near Vellore, Tamil Nadu.   -  V.M. MANINATHAN

The usually quiet Sathuvachari hamlet near Vellore in Tamil Nadu is abuzz with activity as people thronged the house of Sivalingam, burst firecrackers and began celebrations as news of his son Sathish Kumar Sivalingam winning a gold medal in the Commonwealth Games broke.

The 25-year old Sathish defended his gold in the 77 kg category, won at the Glasgow Games in 2014, in some style, braving an injury to his thigh.

He lifted a total of 317 kg (144kg+173kg) and was so far ahead of the competition that he forfeited his final clean and jerk lift.

“He won overcoming pain in his thighs. I am very proud of his achievement. To win a second gold medal for the country is very big,” Sivalingam, a weightlifter himself, told PTI.

Read: Indian lifters continue golden run at Gold Coast

Sathish is also the reigning Commonwealth Championships gold medallist.

“It is a joyous occasion for us. My relatives joined me in celebrating along with the local people. We were expecting him to win and he lived up to our expectations,” Sivalingam added.

Sathish had his initial training under his father, an ex-serviceman who won gold medals at the national level and is now employed at the Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) University in Vellore.

“Sathish is a hard working boy. After training with me,he worked with T Muthu before coming under the watchful eyes of Vijay Sharma and Sandeep when he came into the national camp,” Sivalingam said.

He hopes Sathish can keep improving and ultimately land a medal at the Olympics in 2020 (in Tokyo) after having endured a tough time at the Rio Olympics (in 2016).

Also read: What Sathish has achieved is remarkable, says T Muthu

“We are all hoping Sathish keeps improving and will be happy if he can win a medal in the Tokyo Olympics,” he added.

Having got into the sport at the age of 13 (when he was in eighth standard), Sathish impressed coaches with his talent and dedication. “He (Sathish) started at 13 and was always a hard worker.

Friends and relatives of Sathish Sivalingam watching his feat on TV at their residence in Sathuvachari hamlet near Vellore, Tamil Nadu.   -  V.M. MANINATHAN

 

“He worked for not less than five hours a day. Sathish had won medals in junior and senior categories in the State, national and Asian-level games. There was no looking back since,” said Sivalingam, an ex-serviceman.

At the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Sathish won the gold in the 77 kg category, with 149 kg snatch, and 179 kg clean and jerk lifts, totalling 328 kg. His lift of 149 kg in the snatch, continues to be a Games record.

Life changed for the lifter since the heroics in Glasgow and after he began to train at NIS, Patiala, said Sivalingam. “The gold medal at Glasgow was a turning point for him.

Also read: The unsung heroes hog the limelight, finally

“After that he was focussed on getting better and working with coaches like Vijay Sharma and Sandeep is helping (him),” he added.

Sivalingam also wants his son Sathish, a Southern Railway employee, to rest as advised by the physios after he returns from Gold Coast and said no celebrations were planned as of now for Vellore’s golden man.

“He has been advised rest by the physios. I wish he can do rehabilitation and get back to full fitness,” he said.

“As for celebrations, we have not planned yet. Maybe in the coming days we will,” Sivalingam signed off.