Khelo India School Games: From aspiring boxer to a weightlifting champion, Jeremy Lalrinnunga's journey
At the recently concluded Khelo India School Games, which were being telecasted on Star Sports, Jeremy Lalrinnunga set the benchmark in the weightlifting hall on the second day of the competition by bagging the gold medal.
“I wanted to lift more because I was testing myself,” the 15-year-old said after his win, oozing of confidence.
Of course, having won several international medals already, Jeremy was never really in doubt that he would come second here.
"Actually, I started out as a boxer under the guidance of my father when I was just six years old. While training as a boxer, I used to lift weights to build my strength in the gym and I started liking it," he said when asked how he got into the sport.
The coach at the gym suggested to Jeremy that he should take up lifting. At that time, he knew next to nothing about the sport but he still wanted to try it out.
"I told my father, who is a PWD worker, that I would like to try my hand at weightlifting and he told me, 'Okay, son. If you want to try weightlifting, you can'.
"So, he gave me the proper backing when I needed it the most and for that I'm indebted," he added.
And thus, Jeremy's father took him to Pune to get him enrolled at the prestigious Army Institue of Sports (AIS). However, that too was a long process, with the young Jeremy having to go through several tests and trials.
Once he joined the AIS, the coaches there took over the responsibilty of transforming him into a top weightlifter. His first year at the school was spent practising techniques of the two basic lifts, clean and jerk and the snatch. But in a few of years, he was ready to take the stage by storm.
In 2016, the Aizwal-born youngster stepped on the competition stage at the Youth National Weightlifting Championship where he ended up creating a national record of a 90 kg snatch and a 108 kg clean and jerk.
Jeremy then went on to win the silver medal at the Youth World Weightlifting Championship Malaysia in October 2016, the gold medal at the 2016 Commonwealth Youth Weightlifting Championship and the silver medal at the 2016 Youth Asia Weightlifting Championship. He also bagged the silver medal at the 2017 Thailand World Youth Weightlifting Championship.
On being asked how a normal day goes for him, Jeremy let out a wide smile as he said that his entire day revolves around training and training.
"In the morning, I train from 6.30 am to 8 am. After that, I have breakfast and take rest for one hour. The normal weight training starts at 10.30 am which goes on until about 1 pm in the afternoon. Then, I have my lunch and sleep for about two hours. In the evening, again, I train for three hours from 4 pm to 7 pm," he said.
When asked about his future ambitions and goals, Jeremy replied that he doesn't want to think very long term. He said, "This year, I want to win the gold medal at the Youth Olympics which will be held in October and after that, we will see. For now, I'm not thinking too far ahead."