Punam Yadav won the gold medal in women’s 69kg weightlifting at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.(REUTERS)
Punam Yadav won the gold medal in women’s 69kg weightlifting at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.(REUTERS)

Punam Yadav adds to India’s gold haul in weightlifting at 2018 Commonwealth Games

India’s Punam Yadav won the country’s fifth gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games as she won the women’s 69kg gold medal in Gold Coast on Sunday
By B Shrikant | Hindustan Times, Gold Coast
UPDATED ON APR 08, 2018 03:20 PM IST

India lifted another goal medal from the Commonwealth Games weightlifting arena, their fifth yellow metal that makes them the most successful nation in the sport thus far in this edition of the Games. (CWG 2018 LIVE UPDATES)

Punam Yadav bagged the gold medal in the women’s 69kg weight category, overcoming a challenge from England’s Sarah Davies with a personal best. The gold won by Punam along with the silver by Gururaja and bronze medal by Deepak Thaler make it a rich haul of seven medals from 10 events in weightlifting held so far.

This is India’s best performance in weightlifting in terms of gold since they stopped giving medals for each section (snatch, clean & jerk and total) in weightlifting. India were third in the all-time medals list in weightlifting at Commonwealth Games before the start of Gold Coast 2018 and are likely to add a few more gold medals to the tally. India had won three gold medals each in Glasgow and Melbourne and two in New Delhi.

Punam started by lifting 95kg in snatch and then completed successfully 98 and 100kg, which put her in lead with Apolona Vaivai of Fiji. However, in the clean and jerk, she missed 122 on her second turn and finally managed to lift it cleanly in the third turn. Davies too lifted 122 in her second turn and went for 128kg in her last and final turn as she had done five kilograms less compared to Punam in snatch.

She failed in her attempt thus leaving the Indian lifter at the top position. Vaivai, who has moved down from 75kg in which she won bronze in Glasgow, had a combined total of 227 in the Commonwealth Championships in Gold Coast last year but seemed out of sorts as she could not put up her best show. She failed to lift 103 in snatch and 122 in clean and jerk and had to be satisfied with bronze medal.

“I had expected a tougher fight from the Figian competitor but the English girl surprised me. I did not expect her to do so well as she had finished fifth in Glasgow,” said Punam after the win.

The 22-year-old from Varanasi, who works for Indian Railways, said she was struggling with a knee injury but was happy to have the physio come in and help her. “He is not allowed in the village but he was here at the venue and helped me by treating my knee. I am very happy with the way things have gone here, I was confident of winning the gold,” she said.

Overall it was not a great competition in women’s 69kg as the overall weight lifted by Punam (222kg) was way below the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Championships record.

Though it was Punam’s personal best, the Commonwealth Games record is 235kg while the Commonwealth Championship record is 240kg set in the name of Karnam Malleswari set way back in Sydney in 2000.

Punam said she wants to improve further and win medals in Asian Games and the World Championships. “Of course the Olympics are every athlete’s ultimate aim and I too want to win a medal in the Olympics. I just want to work hard and improve my standard, the medal will come,” she signed off.

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