Lifter Jaroenrattanatarakoon attributes her gold to name change

August 10th, 2008 - 10:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Beijing, Aug 10 (Xinhua) William Shakespeare might have said “what’s in a name”, but Thai weightlifter Prapawadee Jaroenrattanatarakoon who won her country’s first gold medal at the Olympics Sunday thinks otherwise. In fact, she attributes her victory to the change in her name before the Games.

“The fortune teller told me that if I will change my name, I will win the gold,” Jaroenrattanatarakoon, who changed her name from Chanpim Kantatian last year for good luck, told reporters through an interpreter.

“Some people believe in fortune tellers and I am one of them, so I followed her advice,” she added.

But the change did not work immediately as she failed all her three lifts in the clean and jerk at the 2007 world championships.

“I had an injury at the world championships. After that, I focused on the clean and jerk. I practised hard in my training camp and my goal for the Olympics it the gold medal,” said Jaroenrattanatarakoon.

The 24-year-old claimed the gold medal in the women’s 53kg class, defeating South Korean Yoon Jin-Hee and Nastassia Novikava of Belarus.

Jaroenrattanatarakoon pumped her fists in delight after heaving 126kg in the clean and jerk, which is a new Olympic record, and then attempted for gold medal in 130kg but failed.

“I don’t care that I failed to break the world record, anything could happen during the competition,” said Jaroenrattanatarakoon. “I just want to win a medal, whether it is gold, silver or bronze.”

Jaroenrattanatarakoon put the palms together in a traditional gesture of greeting in Thailand, to the cheering spectators at the medal awarding ceremony.

“I will go back home after the Olympics,” said Prapawadee, “You know, I have been preparing for the Olympics from three years and never went back home.”

China did not compete in the class under a rule that restricts each NOC’s competitor to a maximum of four in women’s event.

“I was lucky the Chinese did not enter a lifter in the 53kg,” said Jaroenrattanatarakoon, “If China had taken part, I would have had to be more careful.”

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