Friday, April 13, 2012

Dandamudi Rajagopal Rao: 3 times Olympian

Dandamudi Rajagopal Rao (b: 16 October 1916 - d: 6 August 1981) was renowned sports person of India.

He was born in Gandigunta village in Krishna district in a family of farmers. Impressed by the performance of Kodi Rammurthy Naidu, he took up the line of Weight Lifting. He was trained by Sistla Somayajulu in Weight lifting for sometime.Later He traveled with Kolli Rangadasu and gave many performances in different Indian states.

Sports Achievements 
 *In 1946 won 1st place in XII Olympic games of India held in Banglore in heavy weight class
*He annexed kerala title in 1942 and the bombay provincial honours in 1944 breaking all the previous records
*He has represented India in International competitions held in Burma in 1947.
*He won Gold medal in Indian Olympic Games held at Delhi in 1952. He has lifted 780 pounds in the Heavyweight category. In 1954 Indian Olympics he has won Gold medal and established three Records.
*He won Bronze medal in 1951 Asian Games held in New Delhi in Weightlifting. 
*Dandamudi was the 1st Indian weightlifting champion continuously for 13 years from 1945 to 1958. *Dandamudi won Mr.Asia title in 1948 at calcutta in Asian body building competition.

He was the 1st president of Andhra olympic Association. He has been the captain of Andhra olympic team.He was the Founder of Andhra Olympic Association and Several other Sports Associations in Andhra Pradesh.

He has represented India thrice in the world Olympic games held in London (1948) and Melbourne (1956) and represented India in the Heavyweight category of Weightlifting. He has got 16th rank in final standings in London Olympics and 9th rank in Melbourne Olympics . 11th Place in Finland Olympics in 1952. 

Honours & Popularity
Dandamudi was conferred with various titles as Mr.Asia, Andhrabhima, Andhrahercules, Indian Tarzan and The Giant of India. Dandamudi feats attracted people all over the country. He used to break iron chains tied to his body by taking a deep breath and flexing his muscles. Dandamudi is the 1st Indian who has received Mr.Asia title. Arjuna award winner kamineni eswararao is trained by dandamudi in weight lifting.

Film Career
He has acted in some films. The most notable performance was in Nartanasala (1963), wherein he portrayed the role of Bheema. He also acted in Bheemanjaneya Yudham,Veera abhimanyu.In his short stint in the silver screen .Dandamudi acted alongside stalwarts like Dr.N.T.Rama Rao,Shoban babu,S.V.Ranga Rao and Kantha Rao. his film nartanasala won best film in Indonesian Film festival at Jakarta in 1963.

Rajagopal was married to Anasuya. They had 5 children 3 sons and 2 Daughters, Jhansi Lakshmi Bai, Poorna Chandra Rao, Shyam Sundar, Basavaraj, Vijayalakshmi. He died on 6 August 1981. An Indoor Stadium was named after him as Dandamudi Rajagopal Rao Indoor Stadium in his memory at Vijayawada near Krishna District.and was inaugurated by then chief minister of Andhra pradesh Tanguturi Anjaiah.
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