At the SAI center NSNIS Patiala, Achinda Shuli can be seen constantly buzzing and talking about her quiet nature in every training session. The Bengal weightlifter has his priorities straight for his debut at the Commonwealth Games later this month.
Achinda will compete in the 73 kg category. Although it may not be seen by the common eye, Achinda’s lifelong struggles and inner drive would be reflected in her performances in Birmingham over the years. A chance at catching a kada kudi (string-broken kite) helped Achinda enter the world of weightlifting at the age of 10. Hailing from Tulagarh in Howrah, he joined the local gym along with his brother Alok and used to visit for 7 days. week. In the beginning, it was just Baithak (modified squat) and Dan (modified pushup). Lifting came later.
Achinda’s passion and discipline were fueled by circumstances back home. His father worked as a laborer to support the family. However, after their father’s death in 2013, Alok gave up weightlifting while his mother took up sewing and other chores to keep the house in order. Achinda worked quietly with his passion.
“Nowadays everyone is focused on the phone. You have to have a goal in life,” Achinda told the Sports Authority of India, showing the core values she has used over the years. “A lot of people want to go to the gym to attract girls. I wanted to fight because my family background was not good. I knew there were a lot of challenges to face, so I tried to improve gradually.
This passion and no-nonsense attitude took him far. Achinda competed in her first weightlifting national competition in Guwahati in 2013 and placed fourth. The 2018 Khelo India Youth Games gold medalist won the yellow metal in a big way in the junior and senior categories at the Samoa Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships in Apia, July 2019.
Achinda rode a winning streak en route to a silver medal in the men’s 73kg category at the Junior World Championships in Tashkent last year and broke six national weightlifting records, including three in the senior group. He also became the 73 kg champion at last year’s Commonwealth Championships in Tashkent.
Achinda is part of a 12-member Indian weightlifting squad set to make an emphatic mark in Birmingham. Achinda, part of the Target Olympic Podium programme, will make the event count. His bubbling passion, calmness, desire to be the best and his use of visualization, self-talk and deep breathing techniques will help him achieve his goals.
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