Skater Sonam finishes 4th, lifter Deru 5th in National Games

AHMEDABAD, 1 Oct: Skateboarder Nani Sonam finished fourth, losing by a whisker in the final of the street skateboarding event in the 36th National Games here in Gujarat on Saturday.

She competed neck and neck with seven other competitors till the final round, but luck didn’t favour her.

Sonam had been given a wildcard entry into the Games.

She is the first skater from Arunachal Pradesh to represent the state in the National Games.

Sonam started skateboarding only in 2020.

“I started skateboarding during the Covid lockdown in 2020. I practiced by myself on the roads in Itanagar, Naharlagun, and the interstate bus terminal in Lekhi,” Sonam, a commerce graduate from Delhi University, said.

The skater said that she has not received any formal training in skateboarding.

“Skateboarding is a completely new sport in Arunachal Pradesh, and finishing fourth in such a big event is a great achievement indeed,” coach Tayuk Sonam said.

He said that Sonam could not perform up to her ability on Saturday.

Arunachal Olympic Association president Taba Tedir, secretary-general Bamang Tago, chef-de-mission Abraham K Techi and his deputy Tadang Minu were there to encourage Sonam from morning till the end of the event at 4 pm.

Sonam is the daughter of Karjoy Sonam and Mai Sonam, of Waii village in East Kameng district.

Earlier on the day, lifter Jimjang Deru finished fifth in the men’s 67 kg weightlifting event.

He lifted 109 kgs in snatch and 146 kgs in clean & jerk, for a total of 255 kgs. The gold medal was won by Service’s Subhash Lahre, with a total lift of 275 kgs (snatch 12 kgs + clean & jerk 154 kgs).

The silver and bronze medals were won by A Neelam Raju from Andhra Pradesh and Susant Sahu of Odisha, respectively.

On Sunday, lifter Ch Nirmala Devi will compete in the women’s 64 kg category.