Sanket Sargar Commonwealth Games 2022
Sanket Sargar during the Commonwealth Games 2022. Photo: Twitter/@WeAreTeamIndia

CWG 2022: Sargar's golden hopes hit by injury; Gururaja wins bronze

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Birmingham: The Indian contingent predictably opened its medal tally, with the weightlifters Sanket Mahadev Sargar (55kg) and Gururaja Poojary (61kg) picking a silver and a bronze respectively in the opening session of the sport at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games on Saturday (July 30).

Sargar grabbed a silver in the 55kg category with a performance that was well below his best, as he dislocated his elbow during the contest. He left for hospital after the competition.

A little later Gururaja added a bronze in the 61 kg category to make it one silver and one bronze for India.

Also read: Commonwealth Games 2022: India’s schedule for Day 2, July 30

With Olympic silver medallist Mirabai Chanu (49kg) and S Bindyarani Devi (55kg) competing in the evening session, India can look forward to some more medals.

Sargar was among the favourites for the gold medal. However, Sargar seemed to have injured himself during the Clean and Jerk segment though it was not clear whether it was a recurrence of an old problem.

Sargar said, “There were no errors committed during the lift. I felt a sudden load on my right elbow so I couldn’t control. I heard something click. I had to lift a second time because I needed the gold medal at all costs. There is a lot of pain. I will be headed to the medical bay to get an X-ray done. I am not happy with myself because I have been training for the last four years only for the gold. A bit happy but mostly feel I could have done better.”

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He added, “I did not take the risk to go beyond my national record because completing a lift is important as well. Before the last lift, sir asked me whether I wanted to go ahead. He tried to deter me at first but later encouraged me. I lifted more than this in practise.”

Sargar totalled 248 kg with 113kg in snatch and 135kg in Clean & Jerk, while the gold medal was claimed by Malaysian Mohammed Aniq Bin Kasdan (107 kg plus 142 kg). Sri Lanka’s Dilanka Kumara Yodage with 225 kg (105 kg plus 120kg).

A little later as India added a bronze in 61kg category with Gururaja finishing third, Malaysia’s Muhamad Aznil Bin Bidin gave his team a second straight gold medal.

Aznil totalled a Games record of 285kg (127kg snatch plus 158kg C&J) and Papua New Guinea’s Baru Morea was second with 273 kg (121kg plus 152kg).

Gururaja aggregated 269kg (118kg plus 151kg) as he pipped Canadian Simard Youri 268kg (119kg plus 149 kg).

It was not clear whether Sanket, who last year failed all three Clean & Jerk attempts at the World Championships, which ran concurrently with the Commonwealth Championship, had worries of injuring himself again.

Sanket, 21, built up a six-kilo lead with a superb effort in snatch. He started with 107 kg in his first effort and went on to 111 and finally 113. Bin Kasdan’s best was 107kg.

In Clean & Jerk, Sargar went for a ‘safe’ weight at 135kg and hoisted it comfortably. So, he was in the run for a medal and it could have even been a gold. It did seem surprising that he asked for 139kg for his second lift, as compared to his personal best of 143kg achieved in Singapore this February.

Also read: 15 interesting facts about India at CWG

Here at the NEC Hall in Birmingham, while going for 139 kg, he seemed to have hurt himself. He failed a second time when he attempted more with hope than conviction. His best stayed at 135kg and the total was 248.

Bin Kasdan after 138 for his first lift, asked for 142 to overhaul Sargar. The Malaysian failed once but lifted it a second time and with it came the gold with his total of 249kg.

After his failed attempts at the 2021 Commonwealth Championships in Tashkent when the event was held within that year’s World Championships, Sargar pulled himself back at the Singapore International to secure his entry to Birmingham. In Singapore, he had 113kg in snatch and 143kg in Clean and Jerk for a total of 256kg, which would have fetched him a gold here.

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