Feb 10, 2023:
Panchami Sonowal, the daughter of a tea vendor from Assam, won gold in weightlifting at the 4th Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) in Bhopal.
Panchami, the youngest daughter of Luhit Sonowal and Budheswari Sonowal, is from Jiadhol Chariali, Dhemaji district, Assam. She is also the current national record holder in women’s youth weightlifting in the 49 kilograms category.
Panchami Sonowal had already won a bronze medal and a gold medal at the Junior and Youth Weightlifting National Championships in Tamil Nadu last month. Her dominance has now continued at the Khelo India Youth Games.
This was Panchami’s third attempt at the KIYG after failing to reach the expected heights in her previous two attempts in Guwahati and Pune. She also had to miss the 2022 edition in Haryana due to her board exams, however, is hoping to be able to compete in the next year’s event.
The young weightlifter has said that her parents are very supportive of her in victory and in defeat. They have always strived to provide everything she needed to continue her sporting endeavor.
It may be noted that Panchami is the youngest of three sisters and brother. All her sisters have been married off, while her brother, Santosh Sonowal is an auto-rickshaw driver.
In her childhood, she was inspired to take up weightlifting by her friends and seniors. At 11, she met her first coach Dharmendra from who she learnt the basics of weightlifting.
Panchami mentioned that she ideolizes and has been inspired by Manipuri sensation and Olympic medalist Saikhom Mirabai Chanu. She wishes to meet her in person after witnessing her firsthand when Mirabai won gold in last year’s edition.