Young weightlifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga smashed two Games records on his way to a sensational gold medal win at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games as he added a second yellow metal to India’s tally on Sunday.
The 2018 Youth Olympic champion dominated the men’s 67kg competition with a total lift of 300kg (140kg+160kg), finishing ahead of Samoa’s Vaipava Nevo Ioane, who managed a total of 293kg (127kg +166kg). Nigeria’s Edidiong Joseph Umoafia took bronze with an effort of 290kg (130kg+160kg).
The 19-year-old from Aizwal wrote the Games snatch (140kg) and overall lift (300kg) record in his name but not before an injury scare as twice he grimaced in pain during the clean and jerk attempts.
Speaking about the injury, he said during the warm-up, his front thigh and inner thigh muscles started to cramp because of which he could not walk a while.
“The warm-up was very good but after a point, my front thigh and inner thigh muscles started to cramp, due to which I could not walk for a while and could not cross the 140kg mark during warm-up,” news agency ANI quoted him as saying.
Jeremy opened up a huge 10kg gap with the nearest rival Edidiong Joseph Umoafia when he lifted 140kg in a successful second attempt. He had begun with 136kg. Jeremy further targeted 143kg in his final attempt, but did not succeed.
In Clean and Jerk, the 2021 Commonwealth Championship winner began with 154kg and followed that up with 160kg, but could not complete the 165kg attempt.
Son of a national-level boxer Lalneihtluanga, Lalrinnunga also aspired to don the gloves but shifted to weightlifting as it involved just power to excel, something he found fascinating.
He said he is happy to have won the medal for the country, but not satisfied with his performance. “I was expecting to perform better, but winning gold for the country is a proud moment.”
This was India’s fifth medal from the weightlifting arena with Mirabai Chanu (gold), Sanket Sargar (silver), Bidyarani Devi (silver) and Gururaj Poojary (bronze) earning podium finishes on Saturday. (PTI)