The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Indian women earn four Athens berths

New Delhi, Nov. 22 (PTI): Indian women weightlifters bagged four berths at next yearís Athens Olympics, finishing eighth in team standings at the world weightlifting meet which concluded in Vancouver on Saturday.

Though the seven-member team, which included world No. 5 N. Kunjurani Devi in 48kg and Pratima Kumari in the 63kg, ended their campaign without a medal, their combined performance saw India finish in the top 10.

According to the Olympics qualification rules, the top nine countries in the womenís section at the world championship can send four lifters of their choice to the Athens Games.

The other nations which won the honour were China, Thailand, Bulgaria, Russia, the Ukraine, Colombia, South Korea who finished in the 1-7 places and Turkey, who came ninth, according to information received here on Saturday.

The top three Indian performers were Kunjurani, Sanamacha Chanu and Nandini Devi (both 53kg) who produced their seasonís best. While the 35-year-old Kunjurani lifted 182.5 kg to finish fifth, Nandini and Chanu recorded 200kg and 190kg to finish sixth and seventh, respectively.

Not living up to their billing were world No. 5 Pratima and Sydney Olympic bronze medallist Karnam Malleswari in the 75kg class. Pratima, who ended 12th, lifted only 210kg against her seasonís best of 220kg. Malleswari too finished 12th lifting 235kg.

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