Birmingham: Young Indian weightlifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga on Sunday rewrote the Games record by winning the gold medal in men’s 67kg category at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The 19-year-old, hailing from Aizawl in Mizoram, managed a total lift of 300kg (140kg in snatch and 160kg in clean & jerk) to win India’s second gold medal in the ongoing competition and in weightlifting after Mirabai Chanu won gold in women’s 49kg category on Saturday.
Samoa’s Vaipava Nevo Ioane took the silver medal with 293kg (127kg and 166kg) while Nigeria’s Edidiong Joseph Umoafia clinched the bronze medal with an overall lift of 290kg (130kg and 160kg) as the 10kg gap made in snatch by Jeremy proved to be decisive.
At the National Exhibition Centre, Jeremy began with a 136kg lift in his first attempt in the snatch phase of the competition, taking the lead immediately. He later improved that with a 140kg lift and despite being unsuccessful in the third attempt of lifting 143kg, which could have been his personal best, Jeremy remained on top of the competition at the end of the snatch phase with a 10kg lead.
In the clean & jerk round, Jeremy began with a successful lift of 154kg, but in the process, he injured himself. He came back to successfully lift 160kg in the second attempt and took his aggregate to 300kg. But he again fell down immediately and felt some pain in the back after completing the lift. Despite not being at his 100 per cent best, Jeremy tried to lift 165kg but failed to do so and clutched his left elbow immediately. The support staff had to take a teary Jeremy quickly to the backstage. Loane failed to lift 174kg in his final attempt of clean and jerk, giving Jeremy and India a gold medal.
Jeremy had won the gold medal in the boys’ 62kg category with a lift of 274kg (124kg in snatch and 150kg in clean and jerk) in 2018 Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires, Argentina, becoming India’s first gold medallist in the history of the competition. He had won the gold medal in men’s 67kg category during the 2021 Commonwealth Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan by lifting 305kg (141kg in snatch and 164kg in clean & jerk), which propelled him to qualify for ongoing 2022 Commonwealth Games.