Jeremy Lalrinnunga Commonwealth Games 2022 gold
Jeremy Lalrinnunga, India's second gold medallist at the Commonwealth Games 2022. Photo: Twitter/Team India

Another superstar in the making, Jeremy fetches 2nd CWG gold for India

Birmingham: Hall No. 1 at the resplendent National Exhibition Centre (NEC) near the Birmingham International Airport, has turned into a wonderful ‘medal-mining’ centre for India. Jeremy Lalrinnunga maintained the cent per cent record of a medal in each category as he picked a gold for India in the 67 kg category on Sunday (July 31).

The 19-year-old Jeremy, who seemed to have injured himself with his first Clean & Jerk attempt, which was still successful at 154kg, went on to 160kg before failing at 165kg. But the gold medal was already his after a best effort of 140kg in snatch. His total of 300kg, despite being five kilos less than his effort at Commonwealth Championships in Tashkent in December, 2021, was still a new Games record as was his Snatch effort of 140kg.

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Later Jeremy said, “I am very proud. I have had an elbow injury for a while, but I prepared well and tried very hard today. I could not reach my best performance (because of his injury) but Jesus helped me get this gold medal.”

Yet he did come back for a second attempt after the first Clean&Jerk attempt, which he completed successfully at 154kg, but seemed to have hurt himself. He said, “My coach really motivated me, especially when I got injured during the warm-up. I prayed and cried a lot but now I am feeling better and am very proud.

“I am pleased with that total (300kg). I prepared for this competition lifting as much as 315-320kg. In the end, that total was enough and I am very happy.”

This was India’s fifth weightlifting medal in as many events. After Sanket Sargar (men’s 55 kg silver), Gururaja Poojary (men’s 61 kg bronze), Mirabai Chanu (women’s 49 kg gold) and Bindyarani Devi (women’s 55kg silver), Jeremy ensured the flow was unabated.

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Considering Jeremy has not competed since the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships 2021 in Tashkent and has been beset with back and knee injuries, his first international appearance in seven months was indeed laudable as it fetched him the biggest prize of his fledgling career.

Samoa’s Vaipava Nevo Ioane won the silver medal with a total lift of 293kg (127kg plus 166kg) while Nigeria’s Edidiong Joseph Umofia clinched the bronze with 290kg (130kg plus160kg).

Jeremy started with a 136kg snatch after everyone else had finished with the next best of 130kg coming from Edidiong Joseph Umofia. He raised it successfully to 140kg for a new Games record, but his third and final attempt at 143kg, two kilograms over his personal best, ended in failure. At 140kg he was 10kg ahead over his closest competitor heading into the clean and jerk.

Jeremy registered 154kg with his first lift in C&J but seemed to have hurt himself. He did return for the second lift after receiving brief treatment and successfully lifted 160kg. He was clearly struggling and experiencing pain while trying 165kg, at which he failed. But the gold medal had been won.

Admitting that he was buoyed by the big crowd that was clearly encouraging him all the way, he added, “It was amazing to hear so many people here cheering me.”

After all who does not like a fresh 19-year-old champion, who overcomes pain and wins gold.

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