India’s golds at the Commonwealth Games 2022 (Day 1-3)

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It’s been the lifters who have lifted India’s hopes yet again, at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Former World Champion and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Mirabai Chanu Saikhom demolished the field with an assured and effortless performance to top the field in women’s 49 kg weightlifting, winning India’s first gold medal.

Jeremy Lalrinnunga put up a courageous display to clinch the men’s 67 kg gold medal. The 19-year-old fought through the pain barrier – and tears – to lift an aggregate of 300kg (140 in snatch and 160 in clean and jerk) to take home the medal.

20-year-old weightlifter Achinta Sheuli won gold in the men’s 73kg division at the Commonwealth Games 2022, lifting a new games record total of 313kg.

These golds are part of India’s six-medal haul so far, all coming in weightlifting.

Bindyarani Devi (55 kg), Sanket Sargar (55kg), Gururaja Poojary (61kg) won silver, silver and bronze medals respectively.

Mirabai Chanu celebrates her gold. Source: IANS

The 27-year-old Mirabai Chanu Saikhom, Tokyo Olympic Games silver medallist Mirabai, was streets ahead of the competition and she established her ascendancy by lifting 84kg in her first attempt in snatch while the rest of the field could manage to lift weights in mid-70s. The star Indian improved it to 88kg in her second attempt but failed at 90kg.

In clean and jerk, Mirabai waited till all other lifters had completed their efforts, the best being the 97kg lifted by the Canadian Kaminski, Mirabai easily picked 109kg in her first attempt and the gold was already in her kitty. She lifted 113kg to set the Games Record and had a go at 115kg but failed.

“I am happy with my performance here. To win a gold medal with a record is always good. I had expected to win the gold medal and managed to do so,” Mirabai said later.

Jeremy Lalrinnunga’s podium finish. Source: IANS

Jeremy Lalrinnunga, hampered by injuries to his back and elbow, beat strong contenders from Samoa and Nigeria to win his gold. Luckily for him, he had clear leads over his rivals. Despite his discomfort, and egged on by vociferous Indian supporters, Lalrinnunga valiantly attempted to further increase the gap even though the gold was already in hand, but couldn’t. He did however, set two Games records in the process.

Later, Jeremy thanked ‘didi’ and fellow north-easterner Mirabai Chanu for her inspiration.

“She was also right there in the front row amongst the audience with the Indian flag, cheering for me. That was a big deal for me,” Jeremy revealed.

Achinta Sheuli
Achinta Sheuli’s medal. Source: IANS

He added, “My phone wallpaper for a while has been a Commonwealth Games gold medal. After winning the Youth Olympics in 2018, it took me a long time to win my first major senior medal because of injuries, and other things. So, this means a lot”.

Achinta Sheuli, the 20-year-old former tailor from Howrah district of West Bengal, was the favourite in 73kg, taking the lead in both snatch and clean and jerk from the very outset.

READ MORE: Neeraj Chopra ends India’s 19-year wait at World Athletics Championships

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