New Delhi, July 16 (IANS) Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju met the successful Indian weightlifting contingent and congratulated them for their superlative performance at the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships that were held in Apia, Samoa from July 9-14. India topped the medals tally in both the junior and senior age groups.
Weightlifting events were held across three categories — senior, junior and youth. India won 35 medals across the three age groups, with 32 different athletes (15 men and 17 women) securing the medals. India won 22 gold, 10 silver and 3 bronze medals. Mirabai Chanu, gold medallist at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and a 2018 Khel Ratna awardee, won gold in the women’s 49 kg with a total lift of 191 kg.
In addition to the 35 medals won by India at the meet, India also broke a total of 22 records in all three age groups – World, Asian, Commonwealth and National level. Jeremy Lalrinnunga competing in the 67 kg male event broke a youth world record with a lift of 136 kg in the snatch, this same lift also set a new youth record at the Asian, Commonwealth and National level, as well as setting a new junior record at the Commonwealth and National level.
Jhilli Dalabehera won the gold in the women’s 45 kg event, and set 6 records with a clean and jerk lift of 94 kg and a total lift of 164 kg at the Commonwealth (Senior and Junior) and Junior National level.
Fourteen of the medal winners at the championships along with Jeremy Lalrinnunga have participated either in the Khelo India School Games held in 2018 or the Khelo India Youth Games held in 2019.
Speaking about the performance, Sports Minister Rijiju said “This is India’s best performance ever in this tournament and I am very proud of our athletes. In the coming days, India can become a weightlifting powerhouse. We can have a close competition with China and North Korea. In the next 4-5 years, I want India to be competing with these two countries. We have the potential, we should get good numbers of medals in the Olympics.”
Speaking about winning the gold, Mirabai Chanu said, “I am satisfied with my performance as this is my third competition after an injury and I have got a medal in all of them. My preparations for Tokyo Olympics are going well and I will work even harder in the coming one year to secure a medal for India.”