BIRMINGHAM: A smiling Mirabai Chanu made her iconic presence felt with a record-smashing gold while two silver medals from Sanket Sargar and Bindyarani Devi, along with a bronze won by Gururaja Poojary, made day two of competition at the Commonwealth Games (CWG) a sparkling one for India and the country’s weightlifting contingent.
Olympic silver medallist Mirabai was expected to win a gold medal on the second day of the competition, and she did it with remarkable ease, shattering four records in a power-packed performance.
Literally owning the stage, Mirabai outshone the field by lifting 201kg (88kg+113kg), which was a humongous 29kg more than the second-placed Marie Hanitra Roilya Ranaivosoa’s 172kg (76kg+96kg) from Mauritius, while Canada’s Hannah Kaminski was behind by another kilogram (74kg+97kg).
While others began in the 60kg range, Mirabai straightaway lifted 86kg in her first attempt to pull away from the field, and matched her personal best of 88kg in the second attempt. She went for a record-breaking 90kg, but could not succeed.
In clean and jerk, she began by lifting 109kg and that successful attempt sealed her and India’s first gold. She returned for a successful 113kg lift, but could not complete the 115kg in her final try.
Partially fulfilling the promise he made to himself four years back, young Sargar won a silver in men’s 55kg.
The 21-year-old managed a total lift 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.
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.
For Sargar, who manages a ‘paan shop’ with his father in Sangli, Maharashtra, it is a feat to cherish. Life has thrown challenges at him, but he accepted them with grace and found a way to overcome them with sheer dedication.
He had promised to himself while watching the CWG action in 2018 that he would win a medal in the next edition, though silver was not the colour he wanted.
“In training, I regularly lift 143kgs. I had to go for it as there was a gold at stake. I am not happy with myself because I have been training for the last four years only for the gold,” he said.
Later Gururaja Poojary, the silver medallist at Gold Coast 2018, finished third in 61kg to clinch India’s first ever CWG medal in this weight category. It was a successful switch to an Olympic weight category as Gururaja had competed in 56kg in Australia.
He lifted 151kg in his final clean and jerk attempt 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).
Towards the end of the day, Bindyarani Devi raised her game to secure India’s second silver medal of the day in the women’s 55kg category, providing the country’s fourth weightlifting medal.
The 23-year-old 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 expectedly went to Nigeria’s Adijat Adenike Olarinoye, who lifted 203kg (92kg+111kg). She smashed the Games record in snatch and total effort.
Local favourite Fraer Morrow of England bagged the bronze with a 198kg effort (89kg+109kg).
Good Start for Boxer Hussamuddin
Mohammad Hussamuddin cruised into the pre-quarterfinals of the men’s featherweight (57kg) after defeating young Amzolele Dyeyi of South Africa 5-0 in an unanimous verdict.
Hassamuddin, a bronze medallist in the last CWG in 2018, used his quick hands and nimble footwork to overpower his rival. The Indian kept his shape from the onset and didn’t allow his opponent to take the initiative in any of the three rounds.
While the South African tried his best to unsettle the experienced Indian, Hassamuddin was up to the task to deny any opening to his rival.
Hassamuddin will face Md Salim Hossain of Bangladesh in the next round for a place in the quarterfinals.
Another Easy Day for Shuttlers
Indian shuttlers dished out another splendid show to outclass Sri Lanka 5-0 in their second group A match of the mixed team competition, sealing a quarterfinal spot with one tie to spare in the league stage.
India made a strategic decision to split the mixed and men’s doubles pairing as Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy were back together for the opening match and they put the side ahead with easy win.
World Championships bronze medallist Lakshya Sen and Akarshi Kashyap won the singles matches without much fuss.
B Sumeeth Reddy then combined with Chirag Shetty for a 4-0 lead while Gayatri Gopichand and Tressa Jolly won the final match of the tie.
Paddlers Extend Winning Run in Team Events
The Indian men and women table tennis players continued their impressive show, recording their second straight wins in the team events. The women’s team, led by Manika Batra, outclassed Guyana 3-0 in a Group 2 match while the men’s side also thrashed Northern Ireland by an identical margin in a Group 3 game.
Meanwhile, Nitendra Singh Rawat finished 12th in the men’s marathon race. The 35-year-old Rawat clocked 2 hour 19 minutes and 22 seconds in the race won by Uganda’s Victor Kiplangat (2:10:55).
Tanzania’s Alphonce Felix Simbu (2:12:29) and Kenya’s Michael Mugo Githae (2:13:16) took the silver and bronze respectively.
Rawat has a personal best of 2:16:05, which he had clocked at the New Delhi Marathon in March. He was eight minutes 27 seconds behind the gold winner
Source By – The Times of India