Sathish and Mirabai make the cut

Glasgow Commonwealth Games gold medallist S. Sathish Kumar (77kg) and silver medallist S. Mirabai Chanu (women's 48kg) made the cut following the selection trials held at NIS Patiala on Friday.

Satish Kumar... confident of doing well in the Olympics.   -  K. K. Najeeb

A file picture of Mirabai Chanu.   -  K. Murali Kumar

The Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) on Friday named the two weightlifters selected to represent India at the Rio Olympics. India had bagged two quota places, one each in the men's and women's sections.

Glasgow Commonwealth Games gold medallist S. Sathish Kumar (77kg) and silver medallist S. Mirabai Chanu (women's 48kg) made the cut following the selection trials held at NIS Patiala on Friday.

A native of Vellore, the 23-year old Sathish Kumar expressed his delight at having become the first weightlifter in 16 years from Tamil Nadu to earn a call to the Olympics. "I'm exhilarated. After T. Muthu in 2000, I'm the first weightlifter from Tamil Nadu to get a call to the Olympics. That makes my selection even more special," he said.

"Also, I sustained a back injury and had to perform with it, with unsatisfactory results, for around an year. Now, after having completely recovered, to have done well at the selection trials and got selected, gives me immense satisfaction."

He expressed hope that his selection gives weightlifting in Tamil Nadu a facelift. "This, I'm sure is a boost to Tamil Nadu weightlifting; especially at a time when it was in need of some attention."

He said that he was hopeful about his selection despite heavy competition and sounded positive about his chances at the Olympics. "We'll reach there (Rio) with a month to go for the start of the event. That's a lot of time to be used. I'm confident that we'll do well."

Sathish is a clerk with the Southern Railways and his father, Sivalingam, works as a security-guard at the VIT University in Vellore.