CWG weightlifting: Dey and Rao add a silver and bronze to the kitty (RoundUp)

October 4th, 2010 - 11:26 pm ICT by IANS  

By Alkesh Sharma
New Delhi, Oct 4 (IANS) Enjoying a huge home support, India’s men and women weightlifters won a silver and bronze each on the opening day of competitions in the 2010 Commonwealth Games here Monday.

Soniya Chanu and Sandhya Rani Devi won India’s first Games medals, silver and bronze, in the women’s weightlifting 48kg category at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium complex.

Later, lifters Sukhen Dey, 21, and Srinivasa Rao Valluri, 28, added a silver and bronze in the men’s 56kg category.

Interestingly, weightlifters were on the verge of being banned by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) for drug abuse and were imposed a $500,000 fine. There was uncertainty till a couple of weeks ago whether they would be allowed to take part in the competition at all.

Eventually, the Indian Weight Lifting Federation (IWLF) was bailed out by the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (CGOC) giving them an interest-free loan of $375,000 to make up the $500,000 fine.

But Monday, the weightlifters justified that they deserved to be in the competition with sterling performances.

Chanu opened India’s medal account 48kg category. Chanu, a gold prospect, had a total lift of 167kg. She lifted 73 kg in snatch (failing in second and third attempt) and 94kg in the clean and jerk (also failing in her last two attempts). Sandhya Rani had a total lift of 165kg (snatch 70kg, clean and jerk 95 kg).

The gold went to teenage Nigerian Augustina Nwaokolo, who also set a Commonwealth record both in snatch and total. The 17-year-old had a total lift of 175kg, with 77kg in the snatch and 98kg in the clean and jerk section. Nwaokolo created a Commonwealth record by lifting 77-kg in the snatch category. The earlier record was held by India’s Kunjarani Devi (72 kg) at the Melbourne Games. The Nigerian also set the Games record for total weight.

On missing the gold medal, Chanu, said: “Either God was not with me or luck has deserted me today. I have missed the gold and I am disappointed.”

In the men’s 56kg category, Sukhen and Rao enjoyed full support from the home crowd, who cheered and whistled enthusiastically to keep up the morale of athletes.

Dey lifted a total of 252 kg (snatch 112, clean and jerk 140) while Srinivasa Rao had an overall lift of 248 kg (snatch 107, clean and jerk 141).

Malaysian Ibrahim Amirul Hamizan won the gold with a lift of 257 kg (snatch 116, clean and jerk 141). He created a new Games record in snatch beating his own 115 kg at Manchester 2002.

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