India Today

Unwavering Focus

- —Romita Datta

Achinta and brother Alok were preparing for the Junior Nationals in 2013 when tragedy struck— their father, a rickshaw puller, died. Alok gave up his dream to be a weightlift­er and left college to take a part-time job to keep the household running. “It was the end of my weightlift­ing career but I was determined not to let my brother give up his passion,” says Alok. There were many days when the family of three had to make do with very little, but Achinta never let his focus waver. At the 2013 Guwahati Sub-Junior Nationals, Achinta came in fourth, but his skills drew the attention of officials at the Army Sports Training Institute. He joined the institute in 2014 and there has been no looking back since. A silver at the Youth Commonweal­th Games in Pune, a junior world championsh­ip and a junior Asia Championsh­ip medal followed. In Birmingham, he lifted a record 313 kg (143 kg in snatch and 170 kg in clean and jerk) to win gold. Back home in Bengal, he says he savoured victory with the mutton-rice his mother makes.

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