From down with fever to a bronze: Gururaja tastes success in Birmingham

Gururaja had initially tried his hand in wrestling, but later moved to weightlifting

thanks to his coach Rajendra Prasad of SDM College, Ujire.

July 30, 2022, will be etched in the memory of the residents of Kundapur taluk forever as their local boy Gururaja Poojary won the bronze medal in the 61kg category in weightlifting by lifting a total of  269 kg in the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham.

Gururaja, who hails from Vandse in Udupi’s Kundapur taluk, had won silver in the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Gururaja, son of Mahabala Poojari, a lorry driver, and Paddu Poojari, showed interest in sports while studying in Vandse’s Government Higher Primary School.

His talent was noticed while studying in Mookambika High School, Kollur.

The physical education teacher of the school, Sukesh Shetty, encouraged him to pursue wrestling.

Later, he finished his graduation in SDM College, Ujire, where Rajendra Prasad trained him in weightlifting.

Speaking to The New Sunday Express, Gururaja’s elder brother Manohar said the entire family is on cloud 9.

“We are all happy that he has won the bronze... but we were expecting him to win gold. He recovered from fever just four days ago.

He had body pain... otherwise he would have got gold,” Manohar, who works as a mason, added.

His father Mahabala had a surgery eight months back and is recovering.

Before getting into the national team, whatever little Gururaja earned as prize money went into training.

Once he had got Rs 25,000 in a university event and with that money he had taken care of his diet and equipment.