Commonwealth Games 2022: Paris target for silver girl
Bindyarani Devi had to switch from taekwondo to weightlifting because of her short height, but she would not regret after standing tall with a silver medal in the women’s 55kg category of the Commonwealth Games on Saturday.
After Mirabai Chanu, Sanket Sargar and Gururaja Poojary gave India three medals, including a gold, in Day III’s weightlifting events, Bindyarani, whose height is around 4 feet 8 inches, capped it off with a fine effort late on Saturday.
The 23-year-old, who too hails from Manipur like Mirabai, created a Games record by lifting 116kg in the clean and jerk after a personal best of 86kg in the snatch section, totalling 202 kg on Saturday.
The gold medal went to Nigeria’s Adijat Adenike Olarinoye, who lifted 203kg (92kg+111kg). She also smashed the Games record in snatch and total effort. Local favourite, England’s Fraer Morrow, bagged the bronze with a 198kg effort (89kg+109kg).
“It is my first CWG and I feel very happy about the silver and about the Games record as well,” Bindyarani, daughter of a farmer who also owns a grocery shop, said.
Looking back at how her journey in weightlifting started, Bindyarani said: “From 2008 to 2012 I was doing taekwondo... Then I switched to weightlifting. I had an issue with my height and people at SAI (Sports Authority of India) centre said my height was ideal for weightlifting. So from 2013 onwards, I am doing weightlifting.”
The lifter’s next target is 2024 Paris Olympics and she hopes to stay injury-free for that and beyond. “By the grace of god, I have been injury-free all these years and hope to stay like that.”