At 47, Bhavna Bhave Tokekar won four Gold medals at the Open Asian Powerlifting Championships of AWPC/WPC at Chelyabinsk in Russia on Sunday. Bhavna was a novice at weight lifting just six years ago although she had maintained an active lifestyle all her life and had run two half marathons with her husband, Hindustan Times reported.
Bhavna, whose husband Gp Capt S Tokekar is an Indian Air Force fighter pilot, took up gym to reduce the side effects of medicines she took for the treatment of skin inflammation. But it was when IAF bodybuilding team told her about the benefits weight lifting in increasing her body strength that her penchant for weight lifting reached its peak. Initially, she exercised restraint and chose to clarify myths surrounding bodybuilding and other strength sports, especially those related to women.
According to the report, she began training at 41 but wanted to be sure so that she won’t injure herself doing the wrong technique. She initially started this to increase her strength. Bhavna, a full-time homemaker, then took to internet and researched about weight lifting through YouTube videos and read in depth about it.
Bhavna Tokekar won accolades for #India. She competed in Open Asian Powerlifting Championships of AWPC/ WPC held at Chelyabinsk, Russia on the 13/14th of July in U67.5 Masters2 Category to bag 04 Gold in Powerlifting. Bhavna is wife of #IAF fighter pilot& active member of AFWWA. pic.twitter.com/dkFDEeHmTJ
- PRO Defence Nagpur (@PRODefNgp) July 15, 2019
During these days, she followed handles on Instagram which give out information on fitness. She came across World Powerlifting Congress (WPC) Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh state head Mohammed Azmat on the app and got inspiration from him. Speaking to Hindustan Times, she said that it was February 10 when she casually asked Azmat if she could represent team India in the International powerlifting event. She was asked to come to Bengaluru and give trials.
She learnt about the techniques, rules and regulations of powerlifting and got selected for the Masters2 category (40-45 age group). Bhavna recalled that she got guidance from Mohammed Azmat online as well.
In Russia, Bhavna competed with 500 players in U67.5 Masters2 Category and won the Gold medal in full powerlifting raw and bench.
Bhavna is the mother of two teenagers and hails from Pune.