For 14-year-old Soumya Dalvi, life has tasted so many flavours before settling for his father Sunils passion weightlifting. The teenager learnt music and dance and did athletics before finding her calling in lifting weights.
The tiny Thane lifter, who began weightlifting about two years ago, quickly found her feet in the sport and started winning medals. She caught everyones attention by claiming the Khelo India youth gold medal in girls' 40kg in Pune last year with a total of 113kg.
On Thursday, she defended her title in style by improving three kg and creating new (yet-to-be ratified) mark.
Interestingly, like previous year, Soumya got a stiff competition from her state mate Aarati Tatgunti, who again got the silver medal with 115kg.
The lead-up to the competition was tougher this year for Soumya. Last year I reduced two kg, but this year I had to cut down four kg. It was very difficult. I was overweight by 700gm close to the weighing in. I was so desperate that I did not eat and drink for nearly two days, did sauna bath and tried crying to reduce weight, Soumya, smiling ear-to-ear displaying her wired-up teeth, told The Hindu.
I did singing, dancing and athletics before my father, who was a National-level gold medal winning lifter and a Chhatrapati award winner, asked me to do some exercise at our home gym. Slowly, he got involved and I started training, said Soumya, who took gold medals in Khelo India, National youth championships and Commonwealth youth championships in the last one year.
Now, Soumya, a Class IX student, wants to continue her gold-medal winning streak and shine at the Asian youth championships in Uzbekistan next month.