Punjab lifter Harjinder battles back pain to clinch gold hoping it will fetch her a job -
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Punjab lifter Harjinder battles back pain to clinch gold hoping it will fetch her a job

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Khel Today Bureau 

 Panaji: Punjab’s Harjinder Kaur has been battling back pain for quite a while and any other weightlifter would find it difficult to push themselves with a fear of aggravating the condition.

But for the 27-year-old, the immediate goal is to find herself a job or any kind of sponsorship and she feels that she needs to maintain her performance level in every competition to keep making her case.

And on Friday, Harjinder used that thought as a motivation to lift a total weight of 201 kgs with a best effort of 88kg in Snatch and 113kg in the Clean and Jerk section to clinch the women’s 71 kg gold medal in the 37th National Games. Maharashtra’s Trupti Mane (190kg) and Manipur’s P Umeshwori Devi (189kg) took home the silver and bronze medals, respectively in the event.

“I hope this medal will fetch me one (job or sponsorship),” she said after winning the gold medal.

Born in a family of farmers in Nabha village of Patiala district, Harjinder tried her hand with athletics and kabaddi before settling on weightlifting in 2016.

She felt that A bronze at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games could open up her chances of getting a job. But that did not happen.

Earlier this year, Harjinder clinched the senior women’s 71 kg gold at the National Championships and now has added the National Games gold to her trophy cabinet.

Harjinder said she has come this far thanks to her family’s support but doesn’t know how long she can continue like this.

“I have been trying for a job since the Birmingham CWG bronze, but it’s close to a year and half now, there hasn’t been any development on that front. But thankfully, I have made it to the national camp where all my dietary requirements are properly monitored. That is an invaluable support but as far as the job is concerned, there hasn’t been any progress as yet,” she said.

Speaking about her injury, she said, “I will have to take care of my back, this has been troubling me for quite some time. Even today, there was stiffness in the back. I will have to get it fixed before preparing for the national championships in January.

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