The 10-year-old powerlifter Kanak Gurjar, who had smashed her way to a gold medal in deadlift at the powerlifting meet in Florida last year, underwent endoscopic adenoidectomy and tonsil resection to treat enlarged adenoid, which had hampered her breathing.
With little time for recovery post surgery and no practice a head of the Amateur World Powerlifting Congress (AWPC) powerlifting championship 2023 in Egypt’s Hurghada, Kanak had little hopes of lifting the barbell, let alone win a medal.
Leaving aside her physical travails and lack of training, Kanak, however, stunned the powerlifting field in Egypt on March 9 by winning a gold medal in 44 kg category. The 10-year-old, who weighs 38 kg, lifted a total of 132. 5 kg, comprising squat of 50 kg, benchpress of 20 kg and deadlift of 62. 5 kg. She competed in below 11 years category.
Unable to hold back her elation after winning the medal, the 10-year-old said, “I feel proud to represent India and win a gold medal for the country. This event was much better than the Florida meet of last year because I competed in full powerlifting and not in an individual event and bagged a medal.” The pain she was under after the surgery left Kanak with only time for recovery and meant she had to participate at the meet in Hurghadawith very little practice. Dr Minesh Khatri, who operated on her, said, “She tolerated the pain very well. She was quite good and stubborn.