Chanu clinches India’s first gold medal in Birmingham
Birmingham, July 30: Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Mirabai Chanu won India’s first gold at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in the women’s 49 kg weightlifting event, here on Saturday.
Mirabai, who was the outright favourite to win her division, lived up to the billing with a total lift of 201kg (snatch – 88kg; clean and jerk – 113 kg). With her mark, she shattered the Commonwealth Games record in the category.
The previous Games record, in fact, was held by Chanu herself courtesy a 191kg lift which brought her the 48kg gold medal at Gold Coast 2018. It was Chanu’s third successive medal at the Commonwealth Games. She finished with silver at Glasgow 2014 and won gold at Gold Coast 2018.
The Manipuri ace began her title CWG defence with a 84kg effort, a new Games record in snatch, and improved it to 88kg with her second try to match her personal best. Her third attempt, a crack at 90kg, though, was unsuccessful. The second-best lifter after Chanu in snatch was Mauritius’ Roilya Ranaivosoa, who logged a best effort of 76kg.
In the clean and jerk, Mirabai lifted 109kg with her first attempt to shatter both the Games and Commonwealth record and secure the gold. A lift of 113kg in her second attempt saw her extend the winning margin.
Sanket Sargar won a silver medal while Gururaja Poojary made a successful switch to Olympic weight category, as weightlifters put India on medal tally at the Commonwealth Games on Saturday.
Sargar targetted a gold medal but injured his right elbow while attempting to lift 139kg in his second clean and jerk attempt to eventually settle for a second place in 55kg category.
The 21-year-old managed a total of 248kg (113kg+135kg) to finish just one kilogram behind Malaysia’s Mohamad Aniq, who smashed the Games record in clean and jerk as he lifted 249kg (107kg+142kg) to win the gold.
Sri Lanka’s Dilanka Isuru Kumara 225kg (105kg+120kg) took home the bronze.
Later Gururaja, the silver medalist at Gold Coast 2018, finished third in 61kg to clinch India’s first ever CWG medal in this weight category.
Gururaj was placed fourth after snatch competition. He lifted 151kg in his final clean and jerk attempt to to seal the bronze with a total lift of 269kg, edging out Canada’s Youri Simard (119kg).
Malaysian Aznil Bidin shattered two Games records lifting 127kg (snatch) and 158kg (clean and jerk) to successfully defend his 2018 CWG title with a massive lift of 285kg.
Papua New Guinea’s Morea Baru won the silver lifting a total of 273kg (121+152).
For Sargar, who was managing a paan shop with his father in Sangli, Maharashtra it indeed is a feat to cherish.
Life has thrown challenges at him and he accepted them with grace and found a way to overcome them with sheer dedication.
“There were no errors committed during the lift. I felt a sudden load on my right elbow so I couldn’t control it and there were two clicks I heard,” Sargar said at the mixed zone. (Agencies)