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CWG 2022: Mirabai Chanu lifts gold like it was hers

India’s medal rush continued with weightlifter Bindyarani Devi (55kg) clinching a silver
Mirabai Chanu at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham
Mirabai Chanu at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham

The Telegraph   |   Birmingham   |   Published 31.07.22, 03:47 AM

India lived up to its reputation as weightlifting heavyweights in the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Birmingham by claiming three medals on Saturday.

While Olympic silver medallist Mirabai Chanu earned the country the first gold of the meet, Sanket Sargar and Gururaja Poojary bagged silver and bronze in their respective categories. Mirabai, as expected, was far superior than her competitors in the women’s 49kg category.

She was actually competing with herself. Mirabai’s total lift of 201kg (88kg + 113kg) was 29kg more than the second-placed Marie Hanitra Roilya Ranaivosoa’s 172kg (76kg + 96kg) from Mauritius. Canada’s Hannah Kaminski was behind by another one kilogram (74kg + 97kg).

The 27-year-old Indian smashed the Commonwealth (Commonwealth Championships and CWG) and Games record in snatch. She obliterated the Games record in clean and jerk and total lift as well in a show of power.

Men of power

The 21-year-old Sanket, who had to balance working at his father’s paan shop in Sangli Maharashtra, and his passion for weightlifting, was heartbroken to miss the gold. Competing in the men’s 55kg category, Sanket injured his right elbow while attempting to lift 139kg in his second clean and jerk attempt. He managed a total of 248kgs (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. “I am not happy with myself because I have been training for the last four years only for the gold,” the silver-winning Sanket, who dedicated his medal to the country’s “freedom fighters,” said.

Gururaja finished third in 61kg category. Gururaja was placed fourth after the snatch competition. He lifted 151kg in his final clean and jerk attempt to seal the bronze with a total lift of 269kg. Malaysian Aznil Bidin won the gold.

Bindyarani clinches silver

Weightlifter Bindyarani Devi (55kg) clinched a silver in the women's 55kg as India continued its medal rush.  Bindyarani lifted a total weight of 202kg (86kg+116kg) to finish second

With the 116kg clean and jerk lift, which was also her personal best, Bindyarani smashed the Games record.  Nigeria's Adijat Adenike Olarinoye also obliterated the Games record in snatch and total effort with an aggregate of 203kg (92kg+111kg) to win the gold medal. Local favourite Fraer Morrow finished third with a total lift of 198kg (86kg+109kg).

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