Written by Ruchika Goswami
Parag Mhetre (42), a resident of Pune, has recently won two gold medals at the Taiwan Kettlebell Sport Championship. He won a gold in the 10-minute-long cycle event and another in the half-marathon event.
Mhetre, who was once a mechanical engineer, became interested in kettlebell more than eight years ago, when he began training at the World Kettlebell Club in Chicago in 2011.
“The sport is very tough. You have to lift the kettlebells for a long duration. I see potential in India, so I began teaching the sport here. It takes not only physical but also mental endurance. I prepared myself thoroughly to compete with other athletes,” said Mhetre.
Over the years, he has won several laurels, including the title of Candidate for Masters of Sports at the World Kettlebell Championship, St Petersburg in 2017. He has also participated and won gold in world championship events held in Japan, St Petersburg and Milan.
Kettlebell, which originated in Russia, is a lifting sport in which the athlete needs to lift a kettlebell for a given duration of time. A kettlebell is a cast iron or cast steel ball with a handle attached to the top that weighs four kg to 40 kg. Once a method of training in Russia and parts of Europe, the sport has slowly gained popularity in parts of the United States.
“The training is on a very extreme level for this high endurance sport. I train at home and also practice calisthenics, mountain climbing, running and body weight lifting. Kettlebell requires you to be both physically and mentally strong,” said Mhetre.
To popularise the sport in India, Mhetre started the Energy Kettlebell Fitness Academy. He has conducted more than 300 workshops and trained at least 5,000 people.