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Age is just a number for 47-year old Bhavna Tokekar who has won 4 gold medals in the Open Asian Powerlifting Championships held last Sunday.
The 47-year old lady and a mother of two teens said that even before the competition, she had an active lifestyle but started with the fitness journey six years back when she was 41, to combat the side effects of the drugs she was prescribed for skin inflammation.
How It Started
Bhavna is the wife of an IAF fighter pilot. She was motivated by Indian Air Force bodybuilders and initially had doubts about weight training and looking masculine or bulky, but the internet played a major role in motivating her to start the journey, keeping all misconceptions aside. She had continuously trained herself for six years without a break. She wrote "Not all days are the same. Lots of distractions. But still managed to work out".
YouTube videos and fitness pages on Instagram helped her a lot during training and she uses the information to train herself. That's how she came in contact with World Powerlifting Congress and Mohammad Azmat, who was her inspiration. In her interview, Bhavana mentioned that she remembered the day 10th February which was when she asked Mohammad Azmat whether she could take part in the powerlifting event held in Bengaluru and represent India. As powerlifting was very different from weight lifting, she was asked by Azmat to give trials.
After her trials, Bhavna got selected for the category of 45-50 age groups (Masters 2) and underwent a vigorous training programme. She added that it was a good and exciting experience for her to be among such great sportspersons in the event and perform well on the world stage.
Why She Deserves To Be Celebrated
Around 500 players took part in the competition, out of which 14 were Indians. Bhavana competed and won 4 gold medals with her best lifts being bench press (62.5kg), squat (85 kg), and deadlifts (120 kg).
Bhavana, on several occassions had mentioned that her family had supported her a lot and are her pillars of strength. They had helped her in following her training and somedays accompanied her to the gym.
Currently, Bhavana has started working for her next championship and wishes that the awareness of such strengthing sports should be increased so that more people could actively take part in it.