Youth Olympic Games champion Jeremy Lalrinnunga bagged India’s second gold medal of the 2022 Commonwealth Games after he won the men’s 67kg weightlifting title in Birmingham on Sunday.
Jeremy lifted a Games Record – based on benchmarks – total of 300kgs (140kgs snatch and 160kgs clean and jerk) to clinch gold ahead of Vaipava Nevo Ioane of Samoa who lifted 293kgs (127kgs snatch and 166kgs clean and jerk).
Edidong Unoaifa of Nigeria claimed bronze with a total of 290kgs (130kgs snatch and 160kgs clean and jerk).
Jeremy came into the event as favourite to win gold having won the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships in 2021.
Jeremy was the last to lift in the snatch having listed 136kgs for his first attempt. Umoaifa, Jeremy’s nearest competitor, had a nightmare in snatch lifting 130kgs under pressure at the third time of asking.
Jeremy easily lifted 136kgs in his first attempt and set the Games record with a 140kg lift on his second attempt. Having opened a massive 10kgs lead over second-placed Umoaifa, the 19-year-old went for a personal best 143kg lift in his final attempt but was unsuccseful.
In clean and jerk, Jeremy began his series with a 154kg lift but went down with apparent cramps to his lower back. He followed it up with a 160kg lift, once again cramping later on. Finally, he tried a 165kgs lift in his final attempt but ended up injuring his left elbow and was sobbing in pain.
The Indian had confirmed a silver for himself but had to wait for Ioane’s lifts to see if he had come away with gold. The Samoan began with 163kgs and then jumped ahead of Umoaifa with a 166kgs lift.
Looking to bow out of his last Commonwealth Games appearance with a gold, Ioane raised the weights to a massive 174kgs. However, it wasn’t meant to be a fairy tale ending for the veteran as Jeremy secure gold.
Jeremy is the second Indian to win a gold in Birmingham after fellow weightlifter Mirabai Chanu won the 49kg event on Saturday. Sanket Sargar had claimed India’s first medal after winning silver in the 55kg event before Gururaja Poojary added a bronze in the 61kg event.