Teacher Jaswant Shergill hopes he's inspired students at the Commonwealth Games

·3-min read
Shergill, 29, was competing on the international stage for the first time in eight years (AAPIMAGE via Reuters Connect)

By Andy Baber at The NEC

Birmingham weightlifter and teacher Jaswant Shergill hopes he has inspired his students despite feeling bittersweet about his fourth-place at the Commonwealth Games.

Roared on by a vocal home support at The NEC, the 29-year-old returned to the international area for the first time in eight years as finished best of the rest in the men’s 67kg final.

Shergill smashed his performance from Glasgow 2014, where he finished 11th, by recording a total of 260kg from his snatch (114kg) and clean & jerk (146kg) efforts.

But while Shergill acknowledged that the medals were out of his reach, he felt he could have improved his totals and has already targeted a Games return at Victoria 2026.

“The emotions are still fresh and I’m very hard on myself,” said Shergill. “I not completely satisfied as I believe I could have done better but overall the atmosphere was amazing.

“I felt a lot of love from the weightlifting team and the whole crowd. I’m sure when the emotions settle I’ll be a bit more satisfied as it’s been eight years since my last international event.

“I came 11th in Glasgow and fourth this time but I want to do the next Games and I want to medal there. I don’t think I could have got a medal here, I got the most out of myself today.

“Going in I felt like I could have done more and if I made my last snatch, last clean and jerk attempt it wouldn’t have improved my placement but I don’t always judge satisfaction by results.

“Even though it wouldn’t have made a difference to my placement on a personal level for myself I felt like I could have made them, especially that last clean and jerk. Not thinking about medals or placements, I just think I could have made that.”

Shergill left his most recent school, St Francis in Walsall, in July ahead of starting at Aston Manor Academy in September and said the support he has received has been phenomenal.

“I don’t really get nervous, I’m pretty good with riding the wave in competition,” he said. “It was a very positive influence the crowd, competing in a home Games.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience and it didn’t negatively affect me at all. The support from the people has meant a lot to me as I left my school at the end of July.

“I’m starting a new school in September and the pupils were really sentimental and touching with their support when I left, my students said they were going to watch today.

“I hope they feel inspired and proud of what I did. That final clean & jerk was tough, my personal best in competition is 148 but I have done 150 in training a couple of weeks ago.

“Under pressure I expect myself to make that so that’s going to haunt me for a few nights that jerk but having the Commonwealth Games here in Birmingham is so special.

“It added that touch of sentimentality to the story, it made it more of a narrative. Me missing the last Games, coming back and trying to qualify for a home Games. It made it special to achieve that here in Birmingham.”

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