The sport of weightlifting was one of the first sports included in the first Edition of the Olympic Games in 1896 in the men’s section whereas the women’s section was introduced in the Sydney Olympics in 2000. In the very first edition of the women’s section of weightlifting in the 2000 Summer Olympics at Sydney, Karnam Malleswari clinched a bronze medal. She was the first Indian woman to win an Olympic medal.
After Malleswari’s win at the Olympics, it was expected that weightlifting in India would see a new dawn. But, successive doping menace broke all the dreams. Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) was banned by International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) thrice in 2004, 2006, and 2009. Further, to participate in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India had to pay a whopping penalty of Rs 2 crores. The successive threat suspension affected players as well IWLF morale and derailed Indian weightlifting programs on the world stage. However, recent results of weightlifting show that Indians are now back from the weightlifting abyss.
Long March of Mirabai Chanu
Opening the Gold medal tally for India, Saikhom Mirabai Chanu clinched her first gold at Commonwealth Games (CWG) 2022 in the women’s 49kg weightlifting final. The defending champion of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018, Chanu, lifting 201 kgs set a Games record.
— Shubhankar Mishra (@shubhankrmishra) July 30, 2022
In Tokyo Olympic 2020, Chanu secured the silver medal in the 49kg division with a total lift of 202 kg. After clinching silver in Olympics, Mirabai had become the first Indian weightlifter to win silver at the Olympics and the second Indian weightlifter after Karnam Malleswari to win an Olympic medal. She is also the second Indian woman after P.V. Sindhu who won a silver medal at the Olympics.
Weightlifters are lifting medals at CWG 2022
After Mirabai Chanu, Indian weightlifters have started to increase the medal tally for India at CWG 2022. 19-year-old, Naib Subedar Jeremy Lalrinnunga lifting a total of 300 kilograms set CWG records and secured a Gold medal in the men’s 67kg Finals.
From Aizawal, Mizoram, Jeremy Lalrunnunga is 19 years old and CWG 2022 is his first commonwealth competition. Sports Minister, AnuragThakur congratulating Jeremy said, “GOLD in Men’s 67kg weightlifting in CWG 2022 is a perfect example of the growth of an athlete from Khelo India to TOPS core group. You broke the Games record too. India is proud of you.”
. @raltejeremy’s GOLD in Men's 67kg weightlifting in #CWG2022 is a perfect example of the growth of an athlete from Khelo India to TOPS core group. You broke the Games record too. India is proud of you. #Cheer4India pic.twitter.com/4rW1DqYAbF
— Anurag Thakur (@ianuragthakur) July 31, 2022
Jeremy is among 16 athletes from the Army Sports Institute that are competing at the CWG 2022. Indian Army congratulating Jeremy Lalrinnunga said, “Indian congratulates Naib Subedar Jeremy Lalrinnunga on winning a gold medal in weightlifting by lifting a total of 300kg in Men’s 67kg Finals at Commonwealth Games 2022”.
#IndianArmy congratulates Naib Subedar Jeremy Lalrinnunga @raltejeremy on winning #GoldMedal in #Weightlifting by lifting a total of 300kg (GR) in Men's 67kg Finals at #CommonwealthGames2022. #Cheer4India#IndianArmy #MissionOlympics pic.twitter.com/uRIPlQ53es
— ADG PI – INDIAN ARMY (@adgpi) July 31, 2022
Further, lifting the Indian gold tally at CWG 2022, Achina Sheuli secured Gold Medal in the men’s 73 kg category lifting a record weight of 313 kgs. In the women’s 55kg division, Bindyarani Devi secured silver by lifting a total weight of 202 kg and secured the fourth medal for India. With a total weight of 248kg in the 55kg men’s division, Sanket Mahadev Sargar secured silver and Gauraj Poojary secured bronze in the 61 kg men’s division by lifting a total of 269 kg.
With 6 total medals, India is currently in the sixth position in the medal tally. With 3 gold, 2 silver, and 1 bronze, India’s all medals are from weightlifting. Indian weightlifters are giving their lifetime performance at the CWG 2022. After years of medal drought in weightlifting, Indian weightlifters are now bringing India back from the abyss of weightlifting.
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