Weightlifting has been India’s strong event at CWG with 125 medals which includes 43 Golds.
Weightlifting was introduced in the Commonwealth Games in 1950 and since then has been held in all the editions. But the women were allowed to contest only from the 2002 edition. Weightlifting has been one of India’s primary medal-winning sports. Overall India has won a total of 43 gold, 48 silver, and 34 bronze medals combining for a total of 125 medals ranking 2nd behind Australia.
India has also won the most medals in individual editions thrice ahead of mighty Australia in 1990, 2002, and 2018. At the start of the Games, medals were awarded separately for Snatch, Clean & Jerk, and combined. But from the past few editions medals are only awarded combining both the events.
Here we look at few notable performances over the years by Indian weightlifters.
He was the first Indian weightlifter to win a gold medal at an International tournament and he won at the Commonwealth Games in 1978 in Canada. In the 52kg weight category he lifted 95kg in snatch and 110kg in Clean&Jerk to win gold. His Clean and Jerk lift was a games record then.
He has won 2 gold medals for India during the 2014 and 2018 games in the 77kg category. In 2014 he lifted 149kg (Games Record) in snatch and 179kg in clean and jerk totaling 328kgs.
She won a silver in the 2014 edition and gold in the 2018 edition in the 48kg category. She lifted a total of 196 kg, 86 kg in Snatch, and 110 kg in Clean and Jerk to win the first gold medal for India in 2018. Enroute to the medal, she also broke the Games record in her weight category and the effort also marked her personal best performance during that time.
Like Sathish, Devi holds a record of winning two consecutive gold medals in the 2002 and 2006 editions of the 48kg weight category. This is the same category for Mirabai Chanu as well. In 2002 Devi had an overall lift of 167.5kg and 166 kg in the 2006 edition.
Indians who hold the CWG Records
K Ravi Kumar holds the CWG games record in 69kg category. He had lifted 146+175 which was a total of 321 at the New Delhi games in 2010. Satish holds the Snatch & Total CWG record in 77kg category. He has lifts of 149 and a total lift of 328 set at glasgow games in 2014.
Mirabai Chanu was a record breaking spree when she set CWG records in the last games in Gold Coast 2018. She holds the record in 48kg for a 86+110 for a total of 196kg. Sanjita Chanu had also set up the CWG record in 2018 games in her category 53kg with a lift of 84kg in snatch.
What to expect at Birmingham Games
India will be spearheaded by olympic silver medalist Mirabai Chanu & Young Jeremy. The team includes a host of young and experienced lifters. While for Mirabai a Gold is there for taking only if she could do two legal lifts both in C&J and Snatch, it will be interesting to see how Jeremy performs on his debut. With Pakistan olympian Talha banned it makes Jeremy path to victory slightly easy but he is also coming back from an injury.
Two other title contenders are debutants Achinta Sheuli (73kg) and Ajay Singh (81kg). Both won the gold at the Commonwealth Championships in December. The contingent also has previous CWG medalists in P Guruaja (61kg), the seasoned Vikas Thakur (96kg), who will be vying for a third medal having won silver and bronze in the 2014 and 2018 games respectively.
Team for the games
Women: Mirabai Chanu (49kg), Bindyarani Devi (55kg), Popy Hazarika (59kg), Harjinder Kaur (71kg), Punam Yadav (76kg), Usha Kumari (87kg), Purnima Pandey (+87kg).
Men: Sanket Sagar (55kg), Gururaja Poojary (61kg), Jeremy Lalrinnunga (67kg), Achinta Sehuli (73kg), Ajay Singh (81kg), Vikas Thakur (96kg), Lovepreet Singh (109kg), Gurdeep Singh (+109kg).