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Weightlifter willing to risk career for London Olympics

Katullu Ravi Kumar, India’s top weightlifter is suffering from a a shoulder injury.

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Weightlifter willing to risk career for London Olympics
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What does it mean to be in the Olympics? A lot, especially if you are a promising weightlifter laid low due to a shoulder injury.

It is a Catch-22 situation that India’s top weightlifter Katullu Ravi Kumar find himself in. In the line is his Olympic dream which he has laboured so hard to realise. He is currently suffering from shoulder injury.

However, Ravi Kumar has decided to take go in pursuit of his dream. He is ready to risk his future in order to be part of the London Games. The 24-year-old weightlifter has deferred his left shoulder surgery for few months.

The Orissa boy, who won the Commonwealth Games gold in the 69kg weight category and followed it by winning a bronze in the Asian Championships in China a month later, has been on rest for the last five months because of a partial thickness tear in his left shoulder.

He has consulting top sports medicine experts across the country and the advice has been to go for an immediate surgery.
It is a big dilemma for Ravi. On one hand, it is a question of his career and on the other it is a questionof participation in the Olympics.

Ravi, however, has decided to take the risk to by reporting for practice a few days back. He is now currently preparing for the Olympic grade in the Asian Championships to be held in Korea from April 21.

“This is the last qualifying tournament for the London Games and I am hopeful to get one of the two berths which will be available for India. I have always dreamt of competing in the Olympics right from my childhood and that’s why I have decided to postpone my surgery,” Ravi said on phone from Patiala, where he has been training at the national camp.

However, keeping in view his shoulder problem, Ravi has already written to World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) for an exemption to use the Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE).

This means that he would be taking spot injection therapy just before the competition, so that he can lift the weights without bothering about the pain in his shoulders.

Spot injection therapy involves two shots of pain killers. But before undergoing this therapy, Ravi has been waiting for the TUE certificate from the WADA.

“The surgery would definitely have ended my Olympic dream, so I applied for the TUE certificate a few weeks back and am hoping to get it soon,” Ravi said.

Though, Ravi is desperate for his maiden Olympic berth, it will all depend on the performance of his other teammates in Korea. “India’s combined team of men and women will have to finish in the top seven in Korea, only then can I qualify,” added Ravi, who has not participated in any competition in the last five months.

“The last competition I participated in was the World Championships in November last year. Since then, I have been struggling with my injury.”

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