GUWAHATI: Over a small tea stall in Ziadhal Chariali in Assam, the Sonowal family received a call that filled them with pride and anxiety. Their daughter Panchami Sonowal had won a silver medal in the women's 49 kg weightlifting event at the ongoing Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) 2023. Competing against the youth national record holder in the snatch, Panchami had to finish second with an overall weight of 167 kg.
Maharashtra lifters Arati Tatgunti and Soumya Dalvi won gold and bronze respectively , breaking Panchami's previous record in the process. Revealing her ambition, Panchami said, "I wanted to go for the national record in both the categories, but in the end, it was never for me. The fall was painful and I could barely walk." X-ray results confirmed there was no fracture, and there still is." a little." It hurts, I should be fine in a couple of days."
This earned the 18-year-old weightlifter from Assam his second medal in four events at the KIYG Games. Having recently won national junior weight titles and international championships, Panchami’s progress is constant by her parents Luhit and Budheswari Sonowal.
Panchami, the youngest of three sisters, has a brother, Santosh Sonowal, who earns his livelihood as an auto-rickshaw driver. Despite not being sports enthusiasts, Panchami's parents are unwavering in their support, regardless of her results. Panchami's brother has a nine-year-old son, and she aspires to nurture him into a future sportsman.
Inspired by friends who frequented the Batgharia Anchalic Sports Club in Dhemaji, Panchami took up weightlifting. He successfully cleared the Sports Authority of India (SAI) exams in Guwahati and reached the junior camp in 2017. However, the COVID-19 outbreak disrupted his performance at the SAI centre, forcing him to continue training locally there Excited to meet her idol and Olympic silver medalist Mirabai Chanu who is competing in the same weight division, Panchami is eyeing her eyes as a target immediately at the senior level to reach the podium at the Commonwealth Games. Her approach is one step at a time, and winning gold at the Commonwealth Games.