Jermey Lalrinnunga and Achinta Sheuli are the new posterboys of Indian sports, having clinched gold in weight lifting at the ongoing Common Wealth Games 2022 in Birmingham. Little, though, is know about the path to accomplishment of the young lifters — Lalrinnunga and Sheuli are from Armed forces. The duo could become achievers due to years of specialised training, strategy and infrastructure support they got from Indian Army, which has build state-of-the-art sports excellence centres.

While Sheuli is a Havildar, Lalrinnunga is a Naib Subedar. The Indian Army tweeted to congratulate Havildar Achinta Sheuli on winning gold medal by lifting a total of 313 kg (GR) in the men’s 73 kg finals at CWG. Before him, Naib Subedar Jermey Lalrinnunga gave a surprise to the nation by clinching gold in the men’s 67kg category.

This achievement has been possible because of well-structured and planned programme named Mission Olympics. Indian Army has established the ‘Mission Olympics Wing (MOW)‘ and has created various ‘Mission Olympic Wing Nodes (MOWN), where suitable facilities have been created, said the Army. The Army is filled with joy as, overall, 19 of their men are competing in different events at the CWG. Ajay Singh, who missed a bronze by a whisker in the last round of 81kg category competition, was picked for running, but later the coaches shifted him to lifting, said a senior Army officer. He, otherwise, is a national record holder.

Now, the Army has decided to recruit women, too, and the first – Summi, a 400 metre runner – is undergoing training to compete in future athletics events.

The good showing at the Tokyo Olympics, including Subedar Neraj Chopra’s winning gold in javeline, is also credited to dedicated facility, where professional trainers and experts are drawn from outside the forces to provide the best of the training and facilities, said Army sources. New-age sports gurus of the likes of Palash Tiwari, who did professional course from US, was head strength and conditioning coach at the facility in Pune, are turning the raw talent into champions. He was awarded Chief of Army Staff Commendation card on January 26, 2022

The Army has developed five talent grooming centres under MOW. While Pune is for rowing and various other games, from diving, athletics to archery, boxing and fencing, Meerut has been created for equestrian, Mumbai for sailing and Indore has state of the art shooting facility to become curators for world class athletes.

The Army has been following the ‘catch them young’ policy and is going for early recruitment to lay a good foundation for the budding talent in various sports disciplines. The duo gold medal winners are a reflection of this strategy. Naib Subedar Lalrinnunga and Havildar Sheuli were picked up early owing to to build a strong foundation required to nurture their talent for future international events, said the Army.

Lalrinnunga was enrolled in Boys Sports Company at Army Sports Institute and Sheuli joined as direct Recruit Havildar at the same Institute.