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A humble village girl sets goal on Asian Games weightlifting medal

After a string of impressive performances, 22-year old Jhilli Dalabehera from Nayagarh in Odisha is determined to make a mark at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China later this year.

Statesman News Service | Bhubaneshwar |

After success at Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships, Jhilli from a far-flung village of Odisha is determined to make a mark at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China in 2022.

After a string of impressive performances, 22-year old Jhilli Dalabehera from Nayagarh in Odisha is determined to make a mark at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China later this year.

In December, Jhilli won a silver medal at the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships in Tashkent with a tally of 167 Kgs but despite finishing on the podium, she wasn’t satisfied with the effort as it fell well short of her personal best mark of 176 Kgs.

“I had a bad start to the competition when I failed in my first two snatch attempts of 73 Kgs,” said Jhilli, reflecting on her performance.

“I eventually managed to register a lift in my final attempt. This led to a reduced score in the Snatch where I could have lifted 78 Kgs or perhaps even more. Failing on the first lift is a big setback as it crushes your confidence and leaves you blank at the competition. It is important for weightlifters to learn to cope up with such adversity and bounce back strong.”

Coming from a family of modest means, Jhilli showed early promise as an athlete and began her journey at the sports hostel at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar. Her career received a boost in 2019 when she was included in the elite athlete scholarship scheme of Reliance Foundation Youth Sports (RFYS).

Besides financial support towards competition travel, Jhilli was assured of specialized care from the cutting edge sports science and medicine expertise team at the Sir H.N. Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research centre in Mumbai. Jhilli could now access a dedicated physiotherapist, strength & conditioning coaches, and specialist input in crucial areas such as rehabilitation, nutrition, psychology and data management, and analysis.