Dilara Narin, a young Turkish weightlifter, is rapidly creating a mark in the professional weightlifting scene. After overcoming countless difficulties and challenges along the way, Narin has risen to the pinnacle of her sport. Narin joins us for an exclusive interview to talk about her journey, training routine, and what it takes to be a great weightlifter. Join us as we look at this rising star’s life and find what sets her apart from the others.
- 2022 EWF Championships – Bronze medal 81kg cat.
- 2022 II International Naim Suleymanoglu Tournament – Gold Medal 87kg cat.
- 2022 5th Islamic Solidarity Games – Gold medal 81kg cat.
- 2022 IWF Junior World Championships – Gold medal 81kg cat.
- 2019 International Naim Suleymanoglu Tournament – Gold Medal 76kg cat.
- 2019 EWF European Junior Championships – Gold Medal 76kg cat.
- 2019 IWF Junior World Championships – Silver Medal 76kg cat.
- 2019 IWF Youth World Championships – Gold Medal 76kg cat.
- 2018 Youth Olympic Games – Gold medal +63kg cat.
- 2018 EWF European Youth Championships – Gold medal +75kg cat.
- 2018 EWF European Junior Championships – Gold medal 75kg cat.
Can you tell us a little bit about your journey and how you first got involved in weightlifting?
Surely. My physical education professor and my weightlifting coach saw potential in me and encouraged me to pursue the sport when I initially started weightlifting in 2012. They introduced me to the sport of weightlifting, and I became immediately enamored with it. I like the sport’s discipline and difficulty, and I was anxious to hone my abilities and technique.
Since then, weightlifting has taken on a significant role in my life, and the advancements and successes it has brought about continue to inspire me. I’m appreciative of the chances and encounters weightlifting has given me, and I’m eager to carry on with the sport.
What do you think are the most important qualities for an athlete to possess in order to achieve success in weightlifting?
That’s a great question. In my perspective, discipline, focus, commitment, and perseverance are the traits an athlete needs to possess in order to succeed in weightlifting. Anybody who wants to advance and develop their technique has to possess these attributes. To assist your body’s recovery and performance, it’s crucial to keep up a healthy diet and get enough rest. It’s challenging to obtain the consistency and performance necessary to win in this sport without these fundamental components. At the same time, it’s crucial to know that success in weightlifting demands sacrifices and a desire to put in the work, even when it’s challenging.
Weightlifting is a very physically demanding sport that requires a lot of discipline and focus. How do you balance your weightlifting career with your personal life and other commitments?
It is true that weightlifting is a physically challenging sport that takes a lot of time and commitment. It can be difficult at times to juggle my weightlifting profession with my personal life and other responsibilities, but I’ve discovered that it all comes down to prioritizing and using my time wisely. I am totally focused on my goals and moving closer to them when I’m working out in the gym. I make an effort to train systematically and with as little interruption as possible.
At the same time, I understand how crucial it is to keep a positive work-life balance and carve out time for other crucial aspects of my life. I try to make time outside of training to maintain those relationships and refuel my batteries, whether it’s doing other things like spending time with family and friends or exploring new interests. Finding a balance that works for me and enables me to pursue a career in weightlifting while still leading a full life outside of the gym is the ultimate goal.
Mental and physical preparation is critical to achieving success as an athlete. Can you walk us through your training regimen and what you do to stay motivated during competitions?
When it comes to being a successful athlete, mental and physical preparation are indeed essential, and I think the two are closely related. For me, maintaining motivation and concentration throughout tournaments needs both mental and physical training. I closely collaborate with my coaches to create a training schedule that is suited to my individual requirements and objectives. This entails a mix of skill practice, physical training, fitness, and mental training activities to help me maintain composure under pressure.
Visualization is a crucial part of my mental preparation. I often imagine myself in competition situations, performing the same gestures and routines as I would in a genuine competition. As a result, when I get onto the platform, I feel more at ease and self-assured. I also make an effort to maintain a disciplined approach to training and competition, concentrating on the procedure and the steps I must take to perform to my highest potential.
I get my motivation from a variety of places when it comes to keeping inspired throughout tournaments. Naturally, I always want to perform well for both myself and my team, but I also think it may be really good to have a personal incentive. My mother serves as that inspiration for me. Every time I lift a weight, I am doing it for her.
As a woman in a “male-dominated” sport, what kind of challenges have you faced, and how have you overcome them?
I had a lot of difficulties when I initially started weightlifting since it has always been seen as a sport mainly for men. My own family and the others around me advised me that girls shouldn’t exercise weightlifting. That didn’t deter me, though. I viewed it as a chance to show that weightlifting is not just for males. I put a lot of effort into this and succeeded, proving that anyone can be successful in this sport regardless of gender.
I was able to succeed at weightlifting via tenacity, fortitude, and a desire to confront prejudices and remove barriers. And by doing so, I hope to encourage other women to follow their aspirations despite any gender prejudices that might exist.
Despite being very young (b.2002) you have a successful career in weightlifting. What do you attribute your success to, and how do you stay competitive in a sport that is constantly evolving?
I feel that my devotion and hard effort have contributed to my success as a young athlete in weightlifting. My family, friends, and coaches have always motivated me to do my finest work, and I am very fortunate to have their backing.
I place a high priority on mental training and visualization techniques in addition to my physical training in order to maintain my concentration and self-assurance throughout competitions. It doesn’t matter if I try out new tactics or modify my diet and recovery schedule, I’m always learning and tweaking my training to be competitive in a sport that is always changing. The motivation and results I experience are ultimately a result of my love for weightlifting and desire to always advance.
You’ve won numerous medals and accolades throughout your career. Which one means the most to you, and why?
Always, one exceptional moment sticks out above the rest. That experience for me was taking home the gold medal at the 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires. In addition to being a major achievement for me personally, it also represented a historic moment for my country as I was the first person to receive that particular medal. But what makes this medal even more unique is the fact that it wasn’t originally a gold medal, but I ended up receiving it since my rival was proven to have used performance-enhancing drugs. There is no doubt that this is a memory that will always retain a special place in my heart.
EWF expresses its deepest condolences regarding the devastating earthquakes in Türkiye. Sports can play a significant role in bringing people together and fostering a sense of community. In the wake of this tragedy, sports can serve as a means of healing and providing a help for those affected by the earthquake. We saw on social media the very active TWF’s president and his team visiting the affected areas. In your opinion, how important do you think it is for the sports community to come together in times of crisis like this and use their influence for good?
At times of disaster, such as the recent disastrous earthquakes in Turkey, the sports world may provide an essential part in bringing individuals together and offering much-needed aid. The TWF’s president and his team’s active participation in visiting devastated areas is an outstanding example of how sports organizations may use their power for good. It is critical for the country to unite and help those afflicted, regardless of religion, language, or color. The sports community may help by arranging events to raise awareness and finances for relief efforts, as well as by providing resources and spiritual support. It’s encouraging to see the TWF taking a proactive approach to this tragedy, and their efforts should be recognized. At times of crisis, it is critical that we all band together and use our assets and influence for the common good.
Additionally, how do you think sports can be used to help rebuild communities and support long-term recovery efforts following a natural disaster like this? Do you see any specific initiatives that could be implemented in Türkiye to support the affected communities in the coming months and years?
Sports have enormous potential, not only in connecting people together but also in assisting communities in moments of need. After a catastrophe such as the recent earthquakes in Türkiye, sports may play an important role in helping to rebuild communities and support long-term recovery efforts. One major endeavor may be to equip athletes and individuals affected by the earthquakes with enough space and supplies. This would not only help them recover, but it would also assist to rebuild the sports community in the afflicted areas.
What are your future goals in Weightlifting, and are there any upcoming events or competitions that you’re looking forward to?
As an established weightlifter, it’s only natural for me to set my goals on the largest stage of all – the Olympics. Winning an Olympic medal would be the pinnacle of my career, and it is unquestionably one of my top priorities.
However, I also have other aspirations in the sport, such as competing in the European and World Championships, as well as other quota point tournaments that will help me prepare for the Olympics.
As we approach International Women’s Day on March 8th, how do you see the role of women in sports evolving and progressing in the future?
Women have made considerable progress in sports throughout the decades, but there is still much more to be done. International Women’s Day is an excellent moment to recognize the accomplishments of female athletes while also drawing attention to the persistent issues they face. It is critical to keep pushing for equal opportunities, resources, and recognition for women in sports, as well as to confront any lingering attitudes or preconceptions that may be holding them back. I believe that in the future, we will see even more women taking on leadership roles, coaching jobs, and becoming change agents in sports. It’s an exciting time to be a woman in sports, and I’m excited about the future.
By EWF Secretariat