Ajith N crowned 73kg champion, Ajay completes hat-trick of golds at Commonwealth C’ships

Greater Noida, Jul 14 (PTI) Asian Games-bound weightlifter Ajith N lived up to his top billing as he was crowned the 73kg champion while Ajay Singh completed a hat-trick of gold medals at the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships here on Friday.

Fresh from sealing World Championships and Asian Games berths, Ajith (73kg) was not at his best but still lifted a total of 308kg, which was 22kg more than his nearest rival — Jonathan Chin of England (286kg) — who clinched the silver.

“This is not my best but it’s okay. I had the Asian Games trials 15 days before, so I didn’t get much time for recovery. It is a gold for India. My first gold (in a senior international tournament),” Ajith told PTI.

Ajith, who will be competing at the World Championships in September, is also in the running for an Olympic berth.

However, it will be a tall task for the 23-year-old reigning national champion, who is currently 32nd in the senior men’s ranking list, to make the cut for the Paris Games.

Ajith’s best effort in the ranking period is the 307kg he lifted at the Asian Championships while Japan’s Masanori Miyamoto leads the list with a best effort of 344kg.

To put things into perspective China’s Shi Zhiyong won the gold with a world record lift of 364kg (166kg+198kg).

The Tamil Nadu lifter is hopeful of increasing his personal best at the upcoming two events in September.

Ajay, on the other hand, returned from a wrist injury to stand atop the podium for the third consecutive time in the 81kg weight class, with a total effort of 306kg (136kg+170kg).

“I have competed in a competition after a really long time so it feels great to be a medallist. This medal will motivate me to do better,” Ajay said.

“I have worked hard after my wrist injury, which I suffered ahead of the Asian Games trials. I had missed out on the Commonwealth Games by 1 kg so I worked hard really hard to get back into the national camp,” he added.

Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Harjinder Kaur was the third Indian medallist in the senior category.

The Punjab lifter won the silver medal in the women’s 71 kg after heaving 211kg (91kg+120kg). She finished behind Australian Jacqueline Nichele, whose gold medal effort was 216kg (94kg+122kg).

In the last session of the day, teenager Sanjana put up an impressive display to win the gold in women’s 76kg junior event.

The 16-year-old, who lifted 196kg (88kg+108kg), was miles ahead of all the other lifters in the field including the seniors.

In fact, had she competed in the senior category, she would have been crowned champion there too as gold medallist Essence Hunt lifted 177kg (77kg+100kg), which was 19kg less than Sanjana’s best effort.

The Australian, who also competed in the junior event, had finished behind the Indian.

Source: PTI News


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