New Delhi, July 17: “In the coming days, India can become a weightlifting powerhouse,” said Minister of State (I/C) for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju yesterday while congratulating Indian weightlifting contingent for their superlative performance at the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships held in Samoa.
India won 35 medals across the three age groups, with 32 different athletes (15 men and 17 women) securing the medals. India won 22 golds, 10 silvers and 3 bronze medals. Mirabai Chanu, gold medalist at 2018 Commonwealth Games and 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 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 Asian, Commonwealth and National level, as well as setting a new junior record at Commonwealth and National level.
Jhilli Dalabehera won the gold in the women’s 45kg event, and set 6 records with a clean and jerk lift of 94 kg and total lift of 164 kg at Commonwealth (Senior and Junior) and Junior National level. 14 of the medal winners at the championships along with Jeremy Lalrinnunga have participated either at the Khelo India School Games held in 2018 or the Khelo India Youth Games held in 2019.
Speaking about the performance, Kiren 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.”
“I am satisified 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.” - Mirabai Chanu, Gold Medal Winner