Sports

Surrey lifter set for second attempt at a Commonwealth Games medal

Parm Phangura is competing in his second Commonwealth Games next week in Glasgow. - PHOTO SUBMITTED
Parm Phangura is competing in his second Commonwealth Games next week in Glasgow.
— image credit: PHOTO SUBMITTED

Parm Phangura is in Glasgow, Scotland for his second Commonwealth Games.

But as far as the 35-year-old Surrey weightlifter is concerned, it might as well be his first time as an actual competitor.

A three-time national champion, Phangura qualified for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India. But after flight delays and longer-than-expected layovers resulted in a 40-hour trek to get to Delhi, he contracted an illness soon after arriving and was in no shape to be at his best during competition.

"I got sick and lost 15 pounds in three days," he recalled. "Those Games started bad for me. I competed, but I bombed out. I missed all three lifts.

"But it's just part of sports. So after that, the goal was to get back to the Commonwealth Games."

Phangura had planned to retire a couple of years ago, but wondering how he might have fared had be been healthy in 2010 prompted him to postpone retirement and continue lifting.

He reached qualifying standards at the Western Canadian championships in Winnipeg last March, but had to wait until early June to be notified he was selected for the Canadian team heading to Glasgow.

He declared a medal was the goal for Delhi, but four years later he is happy just to be there, do his best, and see how it compares to other lifters.

"I have other responsibilities now, like my daughter, who is six," he said. "So I am more of a part-time athlete now, going up against some full-time competitors.

"I am ranked in the top five among the lifters who will be there, and the top three are well ahead of the rest of us. But you never know what happens in competition."

Phangura will compete on Wednesday (July 30) in the 105 kg. class. And no matter what happens, this will be his last competition.

"Oh yeah, this is the last kick at it," he said. "I have my own company, teaching weight training to athletes in many different sports. It's nice to meld into that now that my (competitive) lifting is winding down."

Three other Surrey athletes will be be competing at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, which run July 23 to Aug. 4.

Christabel Nettey, 23,  will contest the long jump in the track and field competition Wednesday (July 30). A graduate of Johnston Heights Secondary, Nettey won a bronze medal at the 2013 Francophone Games with a leap of 6.63m, and her personal best is 6.75m.

Alice Falaiye of Canada won the gold medal at the 2010 Games with a jump of 6.50m.

Arjun Gill, 23, will wrestle in the 97 kg. class Wednesday. The current national champion after winning a silver medal at the nationals in 2013, Gill is a graduate of North Surrey Secondary.

Sukhpal Panesar, 21, is a member of Canada's men's field hockey team which is currently competing. A member of United Brothers FHC, Panesar also competed at the 2013 Junior World Cup.

In Canada's first game of the Commonwealth Games, Panesar scored in a 3-1 loss Thursday to New Zealand. Canada has also lost 2-0 to Malaysia and defeated Trinidad and Tobago 3-1. Canada concludes round robin play with a game against England on Tuesday.

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