Sathish Sivalingam: 'No clear favourite in a sport like weightlifting'

"I am looking forward to do 155 in snatch and 190 and above in clean and jerk. It is a challenge. After the Olympic trials, I have to prove that I can do better. I will try my best. If I have the luck, we (India) can hope for something great."

Sathish Sivalingam during the Commonwealth Games at Glasgow in 2014.   -  PTI

Now in Rio at the Games Village for the Olympics, Sathish Sivalingam is training hard, giving his all at the training centre.

Having reached Brazil a month back for acclimatisation, Sathish said the weather has been great and the training facilities nothing short of fantastic. With a little bit of luck, Sathish said, we (India) can hope for a good result at the Games in an interview to Sportstar, from Rio.



Excerpts

Question: When did you come to Rio? How has the preparation been?

Answer: One month back we reached Brazil for training but we arrived in Rio only on August 1. The weather is ideal for training. We’ve started serious training, more than we did in India. We have increased the load. We are all set.



You couldn’t do much because of the injury in 2015. Did that have an impact?

There were too many ups and downs. I took treatment in so many places for my back. My recovery was slow. If I do a surgery, I won’t have success as the success ratio for weightlifters is very low.



Was your performance in the Olympic trials your best?

In the trials, I lifted 151 in snatch and 186 in clean & jerk. It was better than what I lifted in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014. It was my best. I should have improved much more but for the back injury which I aggravated during the world championship in Las Vegas in 2015. After I finished the snatch, doctors stopped me from competing.

I am looking forward to do 155 in snatch and 190 and above in clean and jerk. It is a challenge. After the Olympic trials, I have to prove that I can do better. I will try my best. If I have the luck, we (India) can hope for something great.



How will be the competition in Rio?

It will mainly be from Egypt, Kazakhstan and China. There are no clear favourites in a sport like weightlifting.



Some of your favourite sportspersons?

Weightlifter Pyrross Dimas is my all-time favourite. He has won three gold and one bronze medal in Olympics. From other sports, it is Yogeshwar Dutt who is my all-time favourite. He is surely my role model. If I am doing weightlifting after the back injury, it is because of him. Yogeshwar has had injuries from head to toe. From 2008, he’s had six surgeries in two knees. He’s had problems in knee, thigh and abdomen, shoulder dislocation. Despite that, he won a (bronze) medal in the 2012 Olympics.



How is your back now?

It still pains. I need rest. But there has been non-stop training and competition. After Olympics, I should look for treatment.