In a tale of triumph over adversity, 15-year-old weightlifter Jyoshna Sabar, hailing from the remote village of Pekata in Odisha, has not only broken the national snatch record but also clinched the gold medal in the 40kg category at the 6th Khelo India Youth Games in Chennai.
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Rising from humble beginnings in a mountainous, forested region near the Andhra border, Jyoshna’s journey is a testament to her dedication and resilience.
Jyoshna’s remarkable feat, lifting a total of 130 kgs (60 kg in Snatch and 70 kg in Clean and Jerk), not only secured her victory but also set a new national record in the Snatch category. Her initial target was to break records in all three categories – Snatch, Clean and Jerk, and total. Despite falling short in the jerk attempt, her performance showcases her incredible potential in junior weightlifting.
Coach Ravi Kumar, reflecting on Jyoshna’s journey, mentioned the challenges faced while reaching her remote village for training. This backdrop makes her achievements even more remarkable, considering the lack of accessibility and resources in her hometown.
Jyoshna’s journey into weightlifting started when her talent was recognized by coach Ramesh Chandra Pandhi at the Gram Vikas School, Kankia, an NGO-run residential facility for underprivileged children. Selected for the Tenvic High Performance Centre in Bhubaneswar, she is currently studying in the tenth grade at the Kalinga Institute. Despite her reserved nature, Jyoshna’s success has turned her into an inspiration for many children in Pekata and Kankia.
Coming from a family with a small-time farmer father and a homemaker mother, Jyoshna’s achievements have brought pride to her parents, who, despite having little knowledge of weightlifting, celebrate their daughter’s medals and scholarships.
Jyoshna’s journey continues to break barriers, proving that talent knows no boundaries, and determination can overcome even the most challenging circumstances.