|Birth name||P. Gururaja|
|Known for||Winning a gold medal in men's 56 kg weight class at the 2016 South Asian Games|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Height (approx.)||in centimeters- 155 cm
in meters- 1.55 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 1”
|Weight (approx.)||in kilograms- 56 kg
in pounds- 123 lbs
|International Debut||2016: Commonwealth senior weightlifting championships|
|National Coach||Vijay Sharma|
• Silver medal in 2018 at Gold Coast in 56 kg category
• Bronze medal in 2022 at Birmingham in 61 kg category
• Gold medal in 2016 at Penang in 56 kg category
• Silver medal in 2021 at Tashkent in 61 kg category
• Bronze medal in 2017 at Gold Coast in 56 kg category
|Date of Birth||15 August 1992 (Saturday)|
|Age (as of 2022)||30 Years|
|Birthplace||Vandse, Karnataka, India|
|Hometown||Vandse, Karnataka, India|
|School(s)||• The Government higher primary school at Vandse in Kundapur Taluk
• Mookambika High School, Kollur
|College/University||Sri Dharmastala Manjunatheshwara (SDM) College, Ujire The Indian Express|
|Educational Qualification||Graduation at SDM College Ujire New Indian Express|
|Relationships & More|
|Parents||Father- Mahabala Poojari (truck driver)
Mother- Paddu Poojari (homemaker)
• Rajesh Poojary
• Manohar Poojary
• Mohan Poojary
• Ravirajand Poojary
• Uday Poojary
Note: All of his brothers are Kabaddi athletes.
Some Lesser Known Facts About Gururaja Poojary
- Gururaja Poojary is an Indian weightlifter. He is known for winning a silver medal in the men’s 56 kg weight class at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. In 2022, he clinched a bronze medal in the commonwealth games.
- When he was a child, he had a slim and short body built but was never afraid of the bullies when Gururaja was studying at Mookambika High School in the Udipi district. His physical education teacher, Sukesh Shetty, noticed this during his school days. Sukesh Shetty encouraged him for wrestling. Gururaja Poojary used to practice wrestling on mud or clay, which was mainly known by the name ‘gatta gusti’ culture in the South Canara and Kollur districts of Karnataka and Northern Malabar in Kerala.
- Gururaja Poojary was inspired by the Indian wrestler Sushil Kumar and the bronze medal that Sushil won at the 2008 Olympics.
- Soon after Gururaja Poojary enrolled in the SDM college in Ujire, he started searching for a wrestling coach in the college and town. During his college days, he started gymming where he met some well-known weightlifters. In a media interview, Gururaja Poojary stated that he started meeting those weightlifters frequently and began practising weightlifting in 2010 under the guidance of Rajendra Prasad, and soon, started representing his college in weightlifting. He said,
I started hitting the gym and there I met a couple of powerlifters. I soon began to hang out with them and started power-lifting myself.”
- Apart from weightlifting, Poojary also works as an Aircraft-man in the Indian Air Force, which he joined in 2015. He wanted to join the Indian Army, but due to height issues, he had to settle with the Indian Air Force.
- In 2015, Gururaja Poojary won a silver medal at the Weightlifting Nationals in the All India University title in Jalandhar. In the same year, he clinched a silver medal in the 56 kg Weight Category in Senior Level Weightlifting Championship held at Jaipur (Rajasthan). He then won a bronze medal in the 56 kg Weight Category in Senior Level Weightlifting Championship organised at Patiala (Punjab).
- Once, in a media conversation, his coach Rajendra Prasad stated that Gururaja Poojary broke his own record, which was set by him in 1999 by lifting 193 kg (total in snatch and knee jerk) in 2012. Rajendra Prasad added that in 2015, Poojary improved to 125kgs.
- In 2016, he made his senior national debut and won a gold medal in Tamil Nadu. In 2016, he won a gold medal in the Commonwealth senior weightlifting championship by lifting a personal best of 249 kg (108+141) in Penang, Malaysia. In the same year, he clinched a gold medal in the South Asian Games organised in Guwahati in the 56kg category. In a media conversation, Poojary stated that winning the medal would improve his family’s living standards. He said,
When I started weightlifting in 2010, things were hard at home. I needed money for my diet and supplements, but my father couldn’t support me. We were a family of eight. Things are better now.”
- In 2017, Gururaja won a bronze medal in Commonwealth Championship organised in Australia.
- He is the recipient of the ‘Ekalavya,’ the highest sports award, which was felicitated to him by the Government of Karnataka.
- According to Poojary, he was a regular student during his college days and never missed his classes. He was enlightened to do something for his family’s needs after watching weightlifter Vikar Thakur win a silver medal in the Commonwealth Games. In a media interview, Poojary said,
Then Vikas Thakur won a medal at the last Commonwealth Games and I was inspired. Even I wanted to win a medal.”
- In 2018, he won a silver medal in the men’s 56 kg weight class at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.
- According to his mother, Gururaja Poojary and his five brothers were brought up in poverty. She stated in a media interview after Gururaja’s success in weightlifting that her family got financially stabilised only due to the hard work of her sons. She said,
Poverty is something we have lived in all our life. If we were a little bit well-off financially or received the necessary support and encouragement, maybe all of my sons could have made our country proud.”