Weightlifter Gururaja bagged India’s first medal in the 2018 Commonwealth Games with a total lift of 249 kg in the men’s 56 kg event at Carrara Sports Arena on Thursday.
The 25-year-old came back strong in the last Clean and Jerk lift of 138 kg after failing to lift the same weight in the first two attempts, to ensure a silver medal ahead of Sri Lanka’s Chaturanga Lakmal, who finished with a total of 248 kg.
The gold went to Malaysia’s Mohammad Azroy Izhar Ahmad, who created a new Games Record with a total lift of 261 kg.
Gururaja had started with a conservative 107 kg in snatch and though he failed in his attempt to lift 111 kg next, he managed to stay in third spot behind Lakmal by successfully lifting the weight in the third and final attempt.
He then needed to do something special to improve on the third place and hence raised the bar to 138 kg in clean and jerk. The Indian would have feared for an all-together washout when he failed in his first two attempts. However, he cleared the third with a perfect lift to pip Lakmal, who had only managed to lift 134 kg in clean and jerk.
Fiji’s Manueli Tulo then attempted an audacious 145 kg lift in his third attempt to challenge for a medal but he could not even bring the bar till his chest, assuring the Indian of the silver.