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Assam weightlifter Popy Hazarika bags gold at 37th National Games. Here is her journey of grit and glory

First Published: 26th October, 2023 20:11 IST

Popy got attracted towards weightlifting in 2013 when she visited a weightlifting training camp at Swahid Peoli Phukan College

Making Assam proud, weightlifter Popy Hazarika won gold medal in the women’s 59kg event at the ongoing 37th National Games in Goa. This victory adds to her impressive list of accomplishments in the world of weightlifting.

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has congratulated Popy Hazarika for her achievement.

Taking to X, CM Sarma wrote, “Many congratulations Popy Hazarika on winning Gold in the 59kg weightlifting category at the 37th National Games in Goa. Assam is proud of your achievement!”

Popy Hazarika, born on December 8, 1998, hails from Namti Salkathoni village in Sivasagar, Assam. Her journey in the world of weightlifting is nothing short of inspirational. She was just 10 when her father died of electrocution. Her mother, Dipti Hazarika, worked tirelessly to support the family. Popy is the youngest of three daughters.

Popy got attracted towards weightlifting in 2013 when she visited a weightlifting training camp at Swahid Peoli Phukan College, accompanied by her friend Dimpy Dutta. It was at this camp that she met Coach Duljit Boruah, who became her coach and shaped her career in weightlifting. Popy’s dedication was evident as she committed herself to training, spending three hours in the morning and another three in the evening, often sharing equipment with fellow trainees due to limited resources.

With a weight of just 35kg when she started her training, Popy swiftly progressed, eventually lifting weights nearly her own body weight. She later joined the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Training Centre in Golaghat under the guidance of Coach Om Prakash Kalyani. Her hard work paid off as she went on to clinch numerous medals in weightlifting competitions.

Popy Hazarika’s incredible journey also saw her overcoming financial challenges. To manage expenses, she and her friend Dimpy Dutta shared essential items like balms, kits, and shoes during their training at the SAI Training Centre. They even opted for train travel as a cost-saving measure.

During the phase of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, her coach, Duljit Boruah, extended vital support by sending her weightlifting equipment valued at Rs 53,000, ensuring she could continue her training consistently.

Popy Hazarika’s list of achievements include a gold medal in the 2014 district meet, a gold in the 2016 Assam State weightlifting competition in the 48 kg category, and several more golds in 2022, such as at the Senior Nationals in Odisha (59 kg category), the Singapore Weightlifting International Competition (64 kg category), the Khelo India Women Games at Nagrota, Himachal Pradesh (59 kg category), and the 2023 Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships in Greater Noida (59 kg category).

She also earned silver medals in various competitions, including the 2018 Junior Nationals in Nagpur, the 2020 Senior Nationals in Kolkata, the 2021 Senior Nationals in Patiala, the 2021 Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, and the 2022 36th National Games at Gujarat, all in the 59 kg category.

In recognition of her remarkable achievements, Popy Hazarika was awarded the Sports Achiever award for the Northeast Frontier Railway zone in 2022.

Apart from her sporting pursuits, Popy Hazarika loves dogs and has a pet dog.

Also Read: Assam’s rap artist Shady Mellow advances to 2nd round of MTV Hustle

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