Achinta Sheuli bagged India’s third gold medal, and sixth overall, at the 2022 Commonwealth Games after storming to victory in the men’s 73kg weightlifting event in Birmingham on Sunday.
Sheuli was the favourite to win gold by virtue of being the reigning Commonwealth champion and he justified his tag by snatching 143kg - a Games record based on benchmarks - before lifting 170kg in the clean and jerk for a total of 313kg (Also a Games Record).
Muhammad Erry Hidayat of Malaysia took silver with a total lift of 303kg (138kg snatch and 165kg C&J) while Shad Darsigny of Cananda won bronze with a total lift of 298kg (135kg snatch and 163kg C&J).
Sheuli began the snatch event with a 137kg lift before lifting 140kg with his second attempt. The 20-year-old looked comfortable in both the lifts which provided him with the momentum to match his personal best 143kg with his third and final attempt.
The 20-year-old went into the clean and jerk with a five kilo lead over Erry Hidayat and lifted 166kg with his first attempt after Hidayat’s 165kg lift. The West Bengal lifter, however, made things a bit tricky for himself needing two attempts to lift 170kg. At the World Championships last year, Achinta had lifted 173kg.
Having confirmed silver, Erry Hidayat went for gold by increasing the weights a whopping 11kg. However, the change was too much for the Malaysian and he failed with both his remaining attempts.
Sheuli’s gold is India’s third of the Games after fellow lifters Mirabai Chanu and Jeremy Lalrinnunga. Sanket Sargar had claimed India’s first medal on Saturday after winning silver in the 55kg event. Gururaja Poojary added a bronze in the 61kg event before Bindyarani Devi had ended a fruitful Saturdday for India with a silver in the women’s 55kg event.
With six out of 16 events done, India top the medal chart in weightlifting with three golds, two silvers and bronze ahead of Malaysia who have three medals (two gold and one silver) so far.