CWG: Punam, Vikas clinch gold, bronze (Weightlifting Roundup)

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Gold Coast, April 8 (IANS) Weightlifters continued to shine for India, with Punam Yadav (69kg) and Vikas Thakur (94kg) winning gold and bronze medals respectively on the fourth day of the 21st Commonwealth Games here on Sunday.

Punam lifted a total of 222 kg which included 100 kg in snatch and 122 kg in clean and jerk. England’s Sarah Davies took silver with 217 kg, while Apolonia Vaivai of Fiji lifted 216 kg for the bronze.

The 22-year-old Punam from Vanarasi joined fellow weightlifters Mirabai Chanu, Sanjita Chanu, Sathish Sivalingam and Venkat Rahul Ragala in clinching gold medals here.

Vikas registered a total of 351 kg which inlcuded 159 kg in snatch and 192 kg in clean and jerk. Defending champion Steven Kari of Papua New Guinea won a second consecutive CWG title with a total of 370 kg. He cleared 154 kg in snatch before creating a new Commonwealth and CWG record by lifting 216 kg in the clean and jerk.

Canada’s Boady Santavy took the silver medal with an aggregate of 369 kg. He created a new CWG record by lifting 168 kg in snatch and managed a best effort of 201 kg in clean and jerk.

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The third Indian weightlifter in the day, Seema finished sixth in the women’s 75kg, lifting a total of 189kg — 84kg in snatch and 105 kg in clean and jerk. She started with an 80kg lift in the snatch before managing an effort of 84 kg. In the clean and jerk rounds, her lifts were 100 kg and 105kg respectively. She failed to lift 108kg in her third and final effort.

After Sunday, India has eight medals from the weightlifting competitions. Punam’s gold also meant that the country has five gold medals in an edition of the CWG for the first time.

Punam started slowly, lifting 95 kg in her opening attempt. However, Vaivai registered 97 kg to take the lead after the completion of the opening attempts.

Punam lifted 98 kg in her second attempt but Vaivai maintained the lead with 100 kg. The Indian equalled that in her third and last attempt and Vaivai’s failure to lift 103 meant both lifters ended the snatch phase at the joint top spot.

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Punam did not look convincing at the start of the clean and jerk phase. She struggled to lift 118 kg in her first attempt which gave her the lead. But failing at 122 kg in her second attempt put her in a spot of bother.

However, she recovered to lift 122 kg in her third attempt and Vavai’s failure at that same weight put the Indian in the leading position for the gold.

Davies then made a brave attempt at the gold with a final attempt of 128 kg. But her attempt proved futile as she failed to lift that weight, sparking celebrations in the Indian camp.

In the men’s 94kg event, Vikas cleared 152 kg with ease in his opening attempt in the snatch to shoot into the lead.

Ghana’s Forrester Christopher Osei however, successfully lifted 153 kg immediately after to take pole position.

The lead changed hands once again as Kari of Papua New Guinea cleared 154 kg.

Canada’s Boady Santavy however, blew away the competition with a best attempt of 168 kg to reset the CWG record.

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The previous record of 167 kg was set by Aleksan Karapetyn of Australia at the 2002 edition in Manchester, England.

Kari could only manage 154 kg in the snatch. But he powered away to glory in the clean and jerk with an opening attempt of 202 kg before creating a new CWG record with 216 kg.

He attempted to break the CWG record for a second time by going for 217 kg in his third and last attempt. But he could not complete that lift.

The previous clean and jerk record at the CWG was created by Australia’s Kiril Kounev at the 1998 Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Kari’s total also equalled the CWG record set by Kounev in 1998.

Vikas, who had taken silver in the 85 kg division at the 2014 CWG in Glasgow, Scotland, registered some of his best lifts in international competition.

He managed to clear 156 kg and 159 kg in his final two attempts which assured him a place on the podium.

–IANS

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