Sanjita keeps the gold count growing

Sanjita keeps the gold count growing

Manipuri wins 53kg title; bronze for young Lather in 69kg class

Sanjita keeps the gold count growing

Weightlifter Sanjita Chanu claimed her second successive Commonwealth Games gold medal, in a higher 53kg category, smashing the Games record in snatch along the way.

The Indian lifted a total of 192kg (84kg+108kg) to claim the gold medal ahead of Papua New Guinea's Loa Dika Toua, who finished with 182kg (80kg+102kg) to settle for the silver medal.

Sanjita had won the gold in the 48kg category at the 2014 Games in Glasgow.

The record she broke on Friday was also in the name of an Indian, Swarti Singh, who lifted 83kg in snatch at the Glasgow Games.

Later in the day, India won another medal, a bronze through Dipak Lather in the men's 69 kg. Lather, at 18, became the youngest Indian lifter to win a Commonwealth Games medal.

The 24-year-old Sanjita had earlier claimed the gold in the Commonwealth Championships last year with a total effort of 195kg (85kg+110kg).

Sanjita said she was a shade "sad" that she could not break the record in clean and jerk.

"Had I not dropped my last lift, I would have created a Games record. I really wanted to do it. I missed it and I am a bit sad about that. But I guess it's ok, I don't know," she said.

The Indian was attempting a lift of 113kg in her final chance in clean and jerk but could not pull it off.

"I became a little stiff during my clean lift and I probably didn't push too well in jerk," she reasoned.

Sanjita has been battling a back problem ever since the World Championships last year, where she injured herself just five days before the competition.

"Because of this injury, I still cannot train too hard. I have been lucky to get good support which has kept me motivated," said the lifter.

The disheartening aspect of the situation is that Indian weightlifters do not have access to their physio in the competition area. Sanjita, however, chose to play down the situation.

"They (the physios) have helped as best as they can. We have managed somehow," she said.

The 24-year-old broke down during the medal ceremony.

"It was months of pressure finally coming down. I am glad I could prove those wrong who were saying that I had no chance of a medal just because I came second in the Nationals," she said.

Lather was a bit lucky to win a medal later in the day.

The 18-year-old from Haryana lifted a total of 295kg (136kg+159kg) to finish third after his nearest rival, Vaipava Ioane of Samoa, fouled his last two lifts to finish with a total of 292kg (125kg+167kg).

"I was just sitting inside and hoping he would fail his attempt. I know it's bad to wish ill for someone but I couldn't help it," Lather said.

"I was just hoping he would drop the bar, luckily he did. he had beaten me in the Commonwealth championships, I had got a bronze there after losing by just a kilogram to him. I don't know why he went for 175kg in his final lift, maybe he wanted gold," he added.

Trained at the Army Sports Institute as a diver before being pushed into weightlifting by the coaches there, Lather quipped, "The coaches told me diving is not for rigid bodies of Haryana. We are meant for tough stuff like wrestling, weightlifting"

"I actually did not like weightlifting when I started, but I am so happy today. It is just amazing," he added.

The gold medal was claimed by Welshman Gareth Evans with a total of 299kg (136kg+163kg), while the silver went to Sri Lanka's Indika Dissanayake with an effort of 297kg (137kg+160kg).

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