Sanjita, Mirabai lift gold and silver

The women lifters launch India’s medals push in earnest on the opening day

Updated - November 16, 2021 05:33 pm IST

Published - July 24, 2014 10:32 pm IST - Glasgow

Sanjita Khumukcham (gold) flanked by compatriot Mirabai Saikhom Chanu (silver, left).

Sanjita Khumukcham (gold) flanked by compatriot Mirabai Saikhom Chanu (silver, left).

Sanjita Khumukcham Chanu and teammate Mirabai Saikhom Chanu, both from Manipur, did India proud by winning for the country its first two medals at the 20th Commonwealth Games on Thursday.

The Indians were far superior to the rest of 10-lifter field in the women’s 48kg category at the Clyde auditorium and were left to fight between themselves for the gold and silver medals, almost right from the start of the competition.

Sanjita and Mirabahi finished in that order, with a total of 173 kg and 170 kg, ahead of Nigerian Nkechi Opara (162 kg).

The dominance of the Indian duo was very much evident during the first part of the competition itself — the snatch. While the others struggled even with their listed weights, there was no stopping Sanjita and Mirabai who, with lifts of 77kg and 75kg, made it clear that they were the ones to beat.

Sanjita started with 72kg and progressed with weights of 75kg and 77kg through her next two attempts while Mirabai failed to earn the nod of the judges in her second, with an attempt of 75kg. She did clear the weight in her third effortlessly, but this did put her under considerable pressure in the light of the 2-kg lead enjoyed by the 20-year-old Sanjita.

There was a gasp or two in the Indian camp as Sanjita failed with her initial attempt of 92kg in clean and jerk. But the lifter, who was staging a comeback into international competition after a gap of two years owing to injury, did keep her cool and lifted 96kg in her third trial.

The 19-year-old Mirabai had earned the lights in her first and second lifts, weighing 92kg and 95, and though she did make an attempt to lift 98kg in the third, it was futile. The idea was to bag the gold on the basis of her lower body weight, but luck did not smile on Mirabai and she had to settle for the silver.

Nkechi Opara had 70kg in the snatch and 92kg in the clean and jerk as she finished third. The Indian coach and most decorated weightlifter of all time, Kunjurani Devi was obviously thrilled. “Sanjita and Mirabai were simply great.

“However, I would have been happier had they smashed the Games record. It was the faults in between which stopped them from doing so. All the same, it is a good beginning and I am hopeful that the lifters would be able to add more medals to the kitty,” she said.

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