Made in Ukhrul: Yuvraj Sonar, Gold medalist of Mr. Manipur 2021 from Ukhrul to represent team Manipur in Sikkim

Royal gymnasium, Ukhrul have done it again! Producing national level athletes back to back.

Ukhrul: Yuvraj Sonar, a 20-year-old athlete from Royal Gymnasium Ukhrul who recently bagged Gold medal in the 59th Mr. Manipur 2021 in the 60 kg weight category has kept his eyes set on the upcoming Federation Cup 2022 to be held from March 11-12, 2022.

He is the sole athlete from Ukhrul to represent team Manipur.

Yuvraj Sonar is also the first international athlete from the Gorkha Community of Manipur to represent India in Mr. World 2021.

With just 45 days to go, Yuvraj is training 12 hours a day, aiming for nothing less than the first position.

Born and raised in Ukhrul, he grew up with a family of 13 members living in a joint family with grandmother, uncle and aunty in Phungreitang Ukhrul. His family has settled in Ukhrul for many decades now. His father, Raju Sonar who was also born and raised in Ukhrul as well as his wife, Rita Sonar who works as peon in the water supply office in Phungreitang, Ukhrul. Being born in a family of 5 siblings, their lives have been, and are still full of financial hurdles struggling between their children’s education and family’s sustenance.

Despite a Gold medalist, there has been no aid from the government as of now. All the expenses for his training and travel in competition, are self-incurred except for the gym facilities which he got as a trainer himself, provided by his coach and owner of the gym L. Robert meitei.

Yuvraj Sonar has finished his education up to 12th class in 2021. He studied in Ukhrul till the 7th standard and later moved to Darjeeling for higher studies till the 12th standard.

Also read: Ukhrul’s very own daughter, Solan Jajo is all set to represent Manipur at the national level in Jr Women’s Fitness

WhatsApp Image 2022 02 02 at 12.32.16 PM 1
Yuvraj Sonar with parents.

Since the beginning of his career in November 2020 when he first joined the gym, he has participated in four competitions so far.

Indian Body Builders Federation cup 2021
WPBF 12th world Bodybuilding championship 2021
1st Boby classic state-level open championship 2021
59th Mr. Manipur 2021

The titles under his belt are:
Gold medal Mr. Manipur 2021
Mr. World 7th rank
Boby Classic 5th Rank

He joined the gym in November 2020 during the lockdown as he wanted to look better. Initially when he started out, he didn’t have the intention nor the idea to get into bodybuilding. However, through the help and guidance of his coach he got into bodybuilding. Seeing his improvement and potential, he worked very hard and in 2021 itself, in his first year, he had already participated in four tournaments, national and international, as he got outstanding laurels and even clinched a gold medal.

Perhaps, his first taste of defeat was in 2021 when he participated in the Federation Cup last year. “My first competition came shortly after I started training. I had just three months to prepare for my first competition ever. But despite the short deadline, I got selected to represent Manipur in the Federation
Cup 2021. It was my first time participating in any competition and I was very nervous and intimidated. As I walk out the podium in the first round, I felt discouraged and it left a mark on me but only after some soul searching, I realised that I still got a long way to go and that it was just the beginning of my journey. The time spent thinking of the event taught me many things, especially patience and
persistence and learning that success doesn’t happen overnight. With that new outlook in mind, I am working harder than yesterday, every day and am sure I will get my breakthrough very soon”.

It is said that ‘the secret of your future is hidden in your daily routine,’ said Yuvraj Sonar, speaking of his daily routine and training regime. He wakes up every day at 5 AM and starts the grind by 6 AM which ends at 8 AM in the morning and in the evening from 4-7 PM. When competition draws near, he would train up to 12 hours in a day with 8 hours of sleep.

Speaking on what it takes to be a successful bodybuilder, he stressed the need to have a goal. “I’d say, pretty much all my friends are fit and have the potential to be like me or even better than me. Most of them join the gym for a month or two then give up. I would’ve left the gym too in a month or so if it hadn’t been for Sir Robert who showed me what I could be. I think what most of the young people
like me lack is goals, ambitions and guidance so that they can also see what they could be like I did and if so, I am sure there would be many athletes like me mushrooming up from Ukhrul,” told Yuvraj.It is said that, if he nails the Gold or Silver medal in the upcoming Federation Cup 2022, he will get a railway job in the Southern Railway guaranteed by the Government.

The upcoming 11th Federation Cup 2022 will feature five
different categories:
Men’s Bodybuilding (55-100+kg)
Women’s Bodybuilding (open)
Men’s Sport Physique (over 165 cm)
Women’s Sport Physique (Open)
Women’s Model Physique (Open)

Managed by I. Umakanta Singh with Y. Nilbir Singh as the coach, team Manipur has selected one athlete each for every weight and category. Altogether 15 athletes will represent team Manipur. Yuvraj Sonar has been selected to represent team Manipur in the 60 weight category in Men’s Bodybuilding.

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