Moosewala’s songs apparently helped Pakistani weightlifter Muhammad Nooh Dastgir Butt stay focussed while training.
Not often do friendship and rivalry co-exist in sports. Especially if the rivalry we’re talking about is between India and Pakistan, which has always been more of a spectacle, where on-field action gets drowned against the force of toxicity and hatred.
This is where the camaraderie between Gurdeep Singh and Muhammad Nooh Dastgir Butt – weightlifters from two Punjabs on either side of the Indo-Pak border – comes as a breath of fresh air.
Gurdeep and Nooh were in action during the men’s +109 kg weightlifting final at Commonwealth Games 2022, and both of them walked off with a medal.
Gurdeep lifted a combined total of 390 kg to become the first Indian to bag a medal in the heavyweight category. He achieved a clean and jerk attempt of 223 kg, which is now a national record, and lifted 167 kg in snatch. If not for a wrist injury that hampered his performance, Gurdeep would have bagged a silver medal.
Nooh, meanwhile, lived up to his reputation and lifted a whopping 405 Kg to win the gold medal. Soon after his last attempt, he went looking for his close friend and bronze-medallist Gurdeep, and they posed for the camera.
Later in the night, the duo would meet again and jam to Sidhu Moose Wala’s songs, the singer from Punjab who was recently shot to death.
“Gurdeep and I have been very good friends. After the gold, I first congratulated Gurdeep, and later we did a small celebration where we danced to Moose Wala’s songs,” Nooh told The Indian Express.
Their friendship dates back to 2016, when they met for the first time in the junior championships. Other than musical preferences, they share a pretty similar culture and speak the same language. Nooh also revealed how playing Moose Wala’s songs helped him set the right tempo for the training.
“When I saw the news of Sidhu Moose Wala’s death, I messaged Gurdeep to confirm. At my home gym, where I train, I played songs like Jatt Da Muqabla and the recently released Song 295 to set the tempo for my training,” said Nooh, whose father was also a weightlifter.
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