Achinta Sheuli

Achinta Sheuli: From farming to securing gold at Commonwealth Games 2022

It’s been a great year for India at the Commonwealth Games with the windfall of medals, both gold, and silvers, especially in weightlifting. India won 3 Golds up until now and each came from weightlifting categories. Just after Mirabai Chanu made India proud by bagging the first gold of the year, Achinta Sheuli lifted 313kg equivalent to 143kg in snatch +170kg in clean and jerk and bagged another gold for India smashing the CWG record in the 73kg category. Indian weightlifter Achinta earned India its seventh medal in the competition. The 20-year-old already on the path to success had a rather rough start. This is his story.

Achinta Sheuli’s journey from embroidering to winning gold at the Commonwealth Games:

Born and brought up in a middle-class family in Deulpur in West Bengal, Achinta started weightlifting inspired by his brother. When he was 11 years old, he was introduced to weightlifting by his elder brother Alok. Alok was fascinated with the sport after watching a bodybuilder competition. The brothers talked about their dreams to their mother who then took them to a local gym nearby run by Astam Das back in 2010. Encouraged by their dedication, Das trained them for free and even provided them with nutritious food. Their father was a rickshaw driver.

Things changed after their father’s death when Alok had to give up on his dreams to fend for the family. Their mother started embroidery and the brothers joined in. They would work 12 hours a day earning less than Rs 1,200 a week. Alok and Achinta also took up other jobs such as working on the farm or doing manual labor. They would carry heavy loads on their heads for Rs. 1 and sometimes they would work all day long just for an egg and chicken at the end of the day.

Because Alok was an elder, he was compelled to quit his dreams completely to support his brother. He forced Achinta to continue his studies as well as training. Alok would save every penny he could to get Achinta the diet food he needed. He also ensured that Achinta continue to train.

Achinta Sheuli

In 2013, Achinta got a chance to perform at Junior National Championship held in Guwahati, Assam. His performance got noticed by the authorities who a year later called him in for a trial. Achinta was in class 6th when he got selected and thus joined Army Sports Institute where he completed his further studies. In 2015, he joined the army and soon got a letter from the Indian camp that he got a silver in the Youth Commonwealth Games. The training and food provided at the camp made Achinta stronger for the sport.

In 2019, he participated in Commonwealth Championship, and in 2021 he won a silver medal at Junior World Championship. Thanks to his job in the army, Achinta is now able to support his family. His mother has left the embroidery work which according to Achinta is his biggest achievement to date. His brother too is focusing on his dreams now.

Achinta Sheuli

“The biggest happiness for me is that I have been able to contribute to the security of my family. With the money I’m making, I have been able to let my mother finally leave her job doing embroidery. I did embroidery myself when I had to help my family. But it feels very good that I can help them through my weightlifting now,” said Achinta to Sportstar.

Recently, Achinta Sheuli also participated in the 2022 Commonwealth Games held in Birmingham. On 1st August 2022, he lifted 143 kg in snatch which was equal to his previous best record, and 170 kg in clean and jerk for which he bagged a Gold for the country. He dedicated the medal to his brother and his coach. Not just his popularity has been boosted offline but online as well, the athlete’s followers rose to 17.7k on Instagram within days of his win.

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