With the county coming to a standstill due to the deadly coronavirus pandemic, each one– right now– is trying his/her best to help the poor and needy in India. Powerlifter Gaurav Sharma is also doing his bit as the World Champion has been cooking and distributing food and water to at least 1,000 people daily who have found the going tough ever since the government imposed the lockdown in the Capital.
Maintaining the strict health guidelines, Gaurav has been feeding the needy. “The situation right now is very disturbing. Many people have suffered because of lockdown. I know the lockdown is needed but at the same time it affected many lives on the street.
“I have been doing whatever I can to help poor people on the street. It is disheartening to see small kids crying for food. I have even asked others to help them,” said Gaurav.
“I also distribute face masks, shields and gloves to them.” Gaurav further said he made food for people by himself in his temple at Chandni Chowk where he is a priest. “I have been making it for at least 1,000 people with the help of some friends and family members. It feels really great. I just hope this second wave doesn’t affect more families and everything gets settled soon.”
Last year Gaurav also distributed food among the needy.
Gaurav clinched two gold medals at the 2016 World Powerlifting Championships in England. In 2007, he won four gold medals at the Commonwealth Championships in New Zealand.
Initially starting out as a weightlifter, Gaurav later switched to powerlifting under the guidance of Dronacharya awardee coach Bhupender Dhawan. But now he has switched to shooting.
Defending champion Amit Panghal punched his way into the men’s 52kg final at the 2021 ASBC Asian Boxing Championships after outpunching Kazakhstan’s Saken Bibossinov in the last-4 clash in Dubai on Friday.
During an intense battle between World Championships silver medallist Panghal and bronze medallist Bibossinov, the Indian made a cautious start and tried to keep a distance from the opponent.
He looked more aggressive later in the second round and hit some clean punches to put pressure on Bibossinov.
Panghal carried on the momentum throughout the match and stamped his authority over Kazakh boxer to secure a commanding 5-0 win. Aiming to win second successive gold, the Indian boxer will take on Rio Olympic champion Zoirov Shakhobidin of Uzbekistan in the gold medal match on Monday.
India is now assured of at least five silver medals with four women already making their way into the finals earlier on Thursday at the prestigious event which is jointly hosted by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) and UAE Boxing Federation. With 15 medals confirmed, Indian contingent also achieved their highest medal haul, surpassing the previous best of 13 (2 gold, 4 silver and 7 bronze) from the 2019 edition in Bangkok.
On Thursday six-time World Champion Mary Kom (51kg) alongside three more Indian women pugilists—Pooja Rani (75kg), Anupama (+81kg) and Lalbuatsahi (64kg)—progressed into the finals. The defending champion Pooja received a walk-over against Mongolia’s Munkhbat. While in the other last-4 bouts played late on Friday night, Lalbuatsaihi was declared winner after her opponents from Kuwait Noura Almutairi abandoned the bout in the second round following the Indian’s relentless attack. Anupama (+81+kg) also emerged victorious against Mokhira Abdullaeva of Uzbekistan.
Meanwhile, it was heartbreak in the 54kg as the two-time youth world champion Sakshi Chaudhary, who was initially adjudged as winner, lost her place in the final and had to settle with bronze medal after the opponent Dina Zholaman appealed to review the last round of bout. The jury upheld the claim and altered the result in favour of Kazakh boxer. Simranjit Kaur (60kg), Jaismine (57kg) Monika (48kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg), Saweety (81kg) are the other women boxers who secured bronze medals after enduring defeats in their respective last-4 clashes.
The International Boxing Association, AIBA has allocated USD 4,00,000 prize money for the on-going Championships. The gold medallists of men’s and women’s categories will be awarded with USD 10,000 while both the silver and bronze medal winners will take home USD 5,000 and 2,500 respectively. Final matches of women’s and men’s categories will take place on Sunday and Monday respectively. The event has witnessed the presence of 150 boxers from 17 countries including strong boxing nations such as India, Uzbekistan, Philippines and Kazakhstan.