Principal Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Indian lifters have failed to win any Olympic quota berth from the recently concluded World weightlifting championship in Chang Mai, Thailand.

Though the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) is yet to tabulate the rankings at the conclusion of the World Championship, the abysmal performance by Indian lifters means they would be nowhere close to the Olympic quota.

“The World Championship was an eye opener. There was record participation in the Chang Mai meet and our lifters were out of touch with the international standards,” said the Secretary of Indian weightlifting federation, Balbir Singh Bhatia.

“Now we can only hope to get individual qualifications,” Mr. Bhatia added.

Next month’s Commonwealth championship in Western Samoa will offer yet another chance to boost Olympic rankings for the Indian lifters. The best chance, however, would come at the 2008 Asian championship in Japan.

“We hope to win at least two quota places in Japan,” Mr. Bhatia said.

Otherwise, the Indian federation will be forced to beg for the wildcards.

The only silver-lining from World Championship was Sarabjit Singh’s National record in men’s 105kg category. Sarabjit lifted 206kg in clean and jerk to better the previous record of 202.5kg held by Dalvir Singh of Punjab. Dalvir had set the record in 1999 at Imphal.

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