Olympian Talha wants to build a gym for Gujranwala’s youth with prize money


Pakistani weightlifter Talha Talib plans to build a gym in Gujranwala for young athletes with the prize money he received after the Tokyo Olympics.

Talib doesn’t want other athletes to suffer like he has. He said he wants to build a facility with standard equipment which the youth can use free of charge.

Speaking to the media in Karachi, Talib said that after the Tokyo Olympics, he was awarded millions of rupees for his performance from various organisations.

He said he wanted to take the sport of weightlifting to the next level in Pakistan. Having won many medals in his career, Talib said he had no idea that the nation would encourage him so much despite not winning a medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

The national weightlifting champion said that he trained himself with old and worn-out equipment, but he did not want young players to complain of lack of facilities in future.

He said the impression that his focus now is only on taking prize money is wrong. Talib said he is still training hard and takes his kit bag with him whichever city he visits so that a training opportunity is not wasted.

After the Olympics, Talha’s target is the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championship slated to be held in Singapore from October 20-24.

This event also serves as qualifiers for the next year’s Birmingham Commonwealth Games. The top athlete in each group will make it to the Commonwealth Games.

Talha claimed silver in the senior category of the last Commonwealth Weightlifting Championship held in Australia in 2017. He also won gold medals in the youth and junior categories of that competition.

In the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, he secured bronze. Weightlifter Talib won the hearts of the nation with his performance in the Tokyo Olympics, where he had secured the fifth position in the 67kg category.

Talha was on top for a while before being surpassed by athletes from China, Colombia, and Italy in the final attempts.

After lifting 150kg in the snatch lift, Talha fell while attempting 166kg in the first attempt at the clean and jerk move. He lifted 170kg in his final attempt to have an overall lift of 320kg. He received a hero’s welcome at the airport after arriving back in the country.—Agencies

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