Birmingham : Former World Champion and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Mirabai Chanu Saikhom demolished the field with an assured and
effortless performance to top the field in women’s 49 kg weightlifting, winning India’s first gold medal in the 2022 Commonwealth Games, here on
Tokyo Olympic Games silver medallist Mirabai, who held the world record in this weight division at one time, lifted a total aggregate of 201 kg to
win the gold medal with a Games Record at Hall No. 3 at the National Exhibition Centre.
By far the best weightlifter in this weight class, the 27-year-old from Manipur lifted 88 kg in snatch and then added 113 kg from the clean and jerk
to leave the opposition way behind.
While Mirabai lifted 201 kg for the gold medal, Marie Hanitra Roilya Ranaivosoa of Mauritius took silver with a total of 172 kg, Canada’s Hannah
Kaminiski took bronze with a total of 171 kg.
Four years ago, Mirabai had won the gold medal in Gold Coast while Ranaivosoa had finished second. The order remained the same in Birmingham
Mirabai’s gold was the third medal for India at the weightlifting arena after Sanket Sargar (55kg) and Gururaja Poojary (61kg) won a silver and
bronze medal respectively earlier in the day.
While Mirabai waited for the competitors to make their moves after lifting 88 kg in snatch, there was a stiff contest between four lifters for the
second and third place.
Ranaivosoa and Kaminiski had to quell a stiff challenge from the duminitive Stella Peter Kingsley of Nigeria and Loa Dika Toua of Papua New Guinea,
eventually claiming silver and bronze with their last attempts, producing their personal best efforts.
But Mirabai was streets ahead of the competition and she established her ascendancy by lifting 84kg in her first attempt in snatch while the rest of
the field could manage to lift weights in mid-70s. The star Indian improved it to 88kg in her second attempt but failed at 90kg.
In clean and jerk, Mirabai waited till all other lifters had completed their efforts, the best being the 97kg lifted by the Canadian Kaminski, Mirabai
easily picked 109kg in her first attempt and the gold was already in her kitty. She lifted 113kg to set the Games Record and had a go at 115kg but
“I am happy with my performance here. To win a gold medal with a record is always good. I had expected to win the gold medal and managed to do
so,” said Mirabai after the medal ceremony.
She said she was happy to have lifted 88kg in snatch and was not disappointed to miss on 90kg in snatch and 115kg in clean and jerk.”After the
Tokyo Olympic Games I worked on improving my performance in snatch and I am happy to manage to do well here.
I will continue to do well in the next few months as my aim is to perform well in the World Championship in December this year,” said Mirabai, who
lifted more than double her weight in both snatch and clean and jerk.
Asked how she is going to celebrate her victory, Mirabai, who dedicated this gold medal to her coaches and family members for motivating her, said
the celebrations have to wait till she reaches India.
“I still have to prepare for the World Championship, so I can’t go overboard,” said Mirabai, proving once again that it is this kind of dedication and
hardwork which has got her to win her second successive gold medal in the Commonwealth Games.