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“We Look Up To Mirabai for Inspiration”: Pakistani weightlifter wins gold at CWG 2022


Shortly after Nooh Dastagir Butt won Pakistan’s first gold medal at this time the Commonwealth Games, one of the first people to raise their hands to congratulate was none other than Indian superstar Mirabai Chanu. As an Olympic medalist, Chanu has established himself as a superstar and an icon not only in India but also for the neighboring country’s weightlifters. “It was a proud moment for me when she congratulated and praised my performance,” Butt told PTI after winning the men’s 109+kg gold with a record lift of 405kg.

The 24-year-old Pakistani tennis player has broken all three Olympic records – 173 in the recoil, 232 in the loop and combined. “We look up to Mirabai for inspiration. She showed us that we from South Asian countries can also win Olympic medals. We were so proud of her when she won. silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics.”

Gurdeep Singh won bronze in the same category and Butt considers Indians one of his close friends.

“We’ve been very good friends for the past seven or eight years. We’ve trained together abroad a few times. We’re always in touch,” Butt told everyone about the affection he shared. share with its Indian partners.

For Butt, it was never an Indo-Pak battle but a personal challenge to push through to the best of him.

“It’s not that I compete with Indian weightlifters. I just want to give my best and win here,” he said of Gurdeep, who became the first Indian weightlifter to win a medal. CWG in the plus weight category.

Two visits to India and memories of a lifetime

But have been to India twice to attend international events. The first was the Youth Commonwealth Championships in Pune, back in 2015 and the following year the South Asian Games in Guwahati.

“I’ve been to India twice and the support I’ve received each time has been unforgettable. I long to go back to India again,” he added.

“I think, only Pakistan se jyada fans India mein hai (I think, I have more fans in India than at home),” he said happily.

Amid growing cross-border tensions between neighboring countries, the Pakistan team went to the South Asian Games in Guwahati-Shillong in 2016, just to “feel at home”. when i was in Guwahati the hotel staff became like my extended family and were in tears when i left it was the connection for those 10-15 days they never made me feel that I’m from Pakistan or their enemies.” It’s been six years since that championship and Butt wouldn’t mind visiting India again.

“Definitely, I look forward to visiting again. I have never enjoyed any other competition the way I did in India,” he added.

Custom gym and training under the direction of father-trainer Ghulam

This is Pakistan’s only second gold medal at the CWG in weightlifting. Shuja-Uddin Malik (85kg) is the country’s only athlete to win gold (Melbourne 2006).

Judoka Shah Hussain Shah is the only Pakistani on the CWG podium after winning bronze.

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His father and coach Ghulam Dastgir is a former national champion and SAF Games medalist. He built a gym for his son at their home in Gujranwala, where he worked out for hours.

Butt, a bronze medalist said: “There was a lot of expectation from me because many of our fellow athletes couldn’t win. 2018 so I couldn’t go to Tokyo. I worked a lot with them. My ‘Abbu’ (father in Urdu) for the last two or three years for this and is back.” “My father is my inspiration. He was the best campaigner of his time. Medals This belongs to him,” he initialed.

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