Vikas Thakur arrived at the Commonwealth Games listening to the songs of Sidhu Moose Wala. The Indian weightlifter was thinking of the late Punjabi singer’s music even while doing the “lifts” during the competition here.
Skipping food for two days after killing Moose Wala, the first thing Thakur did after winning his third CWG medal on Tuesday was to pay tribute to his idol by celebrating ‘Jangh-Panch’.
The veteran Thakur finished second in the men’s 96 kg event with a total lift of 346 kg (155 kg + 191 kg).
“The Punjabi ‘thapi’ (thigh-five) was a tribute to Siddhu Moose Vala,” said Thakur, from the Rajput Jat community of Himachal Pradesh.
The Punjabi rapper-turned-politician was murdered in broad daylight on May 29. He was only 28 years old.
“I didn’t eat for two days (after his death),” Yadav said during an interaction with PTI after winning the second CWG silver.
Thakur won silver (85 kg) at the Glasgow 2014 edition, while he returned with bronze (94 kg) at Gold Coast 2018.
“I never met him but his songs will stay with me forever. I used to listen to his numbers even before coming to the competition.
“I will always be a big fan of his. He always used to say ‘Jor bina patta de thapi bajti na’ (You have to give your all to achieve something) on five thighs.
“I never met him but he will always be my all time favorite singer. His songs are always on my phone. Happy or sad, it (his numbers) always keep me going,” he said, adding that ‘Everybody Hurts’ is his current favorite when he’s down.
“I used to think about it while lifting,” he said.
She lifted 191 kg in her second attempt in the clean and jerk, beating Fiji’s Taniela Tuisuwa Renibogi by three kilograms.
He was below the personal best national record of 197 kg (Thailand) but it was enough to earn him silver. Thakur has a personal best of 353kg (157+197) which he achieved at the EGAT Cup in Thailand.
The son of railway employee Brijlal Thakur, he was “very mischievous” as a child and was put into different games to keep him occupied after his homework.
“My parents put me up for sports, to make sure I would finish my homework early and not fall into bad company. I tried athletics, boxing and finally weightlifting under CWG 1990 medalist Parvesh Chander Sharma at the Ludhiana Club.
It was Ravi Kumar, who made headlines with a record-breaking lift of 69kg at the 2010 CWG in Delhi, who inspired Yadav.
“Although I started in 2002, Ravi Kumar’s performance in Delhi inspired us all. That sparked that passion and there was no looking back,” he said.