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Saturday Oct 12 2019
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Pakistani weightlifter Rabiya wins silver in Cardiff despite fever, no coach

Rabiya Shehzad says that she is determined to bag more laurels for the country. — Photo by author

KARACHI: Emerging female weightlifter Rabiya Shehzad on Saturday added another feather to her cap when she won a silver medal in Welsh Open Weightlifting Championship in Cardiff.

Rabia, the younger sister of badminton star Mahoor Shehzad, went down a weight class, going from 55kg to 49kg. She lifted 40kg in snatch and 50kg in clean and jerk.

The 21-year-old athlete told Geo that it wasn’t an easy competition for her as she was recovering from fever and her body was shivering throughout the event.

“It was really tough and I couldn’t prepare properly as I had to rest and then travel for the event,” she said.

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“After every lift, it felt like my body was shivering but I feel immensely happy after winning the silver, although my target was to win the gold.”

Rabiya Shehzad (right) with one of the other medalists. 

Before final lifts, Rabia had lifted 35kg and 37kg in snatch, while in her first attempt of clean and jerk, she had registered 45kg.

Rabia was unsuccessful with her first attempt to lift 50kg, however, she accomplished the task in her final attempt, bagging a silver medal as a result.

“I had dropped my weight category from 55kg to 49kg so in the morning and night before I feared if I would be able to qualify for the 49kg category,” she said.

“At every step there was a challenge and fear. First at weigh in and then at setting the attempts to lift. Had I failed on all three attempts of either the snatch or clean and jerk, I would have been disqualified.”

The budding weightlifter, who also partake at an event in Singapore in March, said that she competed this time without any full-time coaching team, adding that a local trainer present at the event helped her with the adjustment.

“As I have no coach with me, I asked coaches at the competition in Cardiff to help me out setting the attempts and one of them helped, but it’s really tough when you are alone at competitions,” Rabia rued.

The Karachi native said that she is determined to bag more laurels for the country.

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