CWG: A happy hunting ground for Indian weightlifters
Mirabai Chanu

Nagrota Bagwan (HP): Olympic medallist Mirabai Chanu won the gold medal comfortably but could not better her national record in snatch at the inaugural Khelo India Women Weightlifting League tournament here on Thursday.

The Tokyo Olympics silver medallist lifted a total of 191kg (86kg+105kg) to stand atop the podium in the ranking event for women in the senior, junior and youth categories.

Gyaneshwari Yadav 170kg (78kg+92) and former 45kg Asian Weightlifting Championship gold medallist Jhilli Dalabehra 166kg (75kg+91kg) finished second and third, respectively.

After starting off with a successful 86kg lift, the 27-year-old Chanu failed to hoist 89kg in her second and third snatch attempts.

The national record and her personal best in the section stands at 88kg, which Chanu had lifted during the National Championships in 2020.

Chanu has been working on tweaking her snatch technique, once considered her weakness. She has been consulting Dr. Aaron Horschig, a former weightlifter-turned-physical therapist and strength and conditioning coach in the USA for the same.

The former world champion, who will be vying for a third Commonwealth Games medal in the quadrennial event next month, has been targeting the 90kg mark for a couple of years.

In the clean and jerk, she hoisted 105 kg in her first attempt, a far cry from her world-record lift of 119kg. She did not attempt a second or third lift in the section.

The gulf between Chanu and the other Indian lifters in the category was on full display as the second placed-lifter Gyaneshwari lifted a whopping 21kg less than the Manipuri while the gap was 25kg for Jhilli.

The tournament will help the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) maintain a robust national ranking system while also providing additional competition to the lifters of the country.

In the 49kg Youth event, Maharashtra’s Aarti Tatgunti emerged champion with a lift of 148kg (65kg+83kg), while Panchami Sonowal of Assam lifted 143 kg (63kg+80) to secure the second spot. Haryana’s Himanshee lifted 132 kg (63kg+69kg) to get herself the third position.

Gyaneshwari also claimed the top spot in the junior 49kg event with a 170kg (78kg+92kg) lift while Sanju Devi, who lifted 154kg (70kg+84kg) and V.Rithika, who hoisted 153kg (67kg+86kg), were second and third, respectively.

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