Ajith Narayana tops men’s 73 Group B, CWG champion Achinta Sheuli comes second

Jinju (Korea), May 8 (PTI) Indian weightlifters Ajith Narayana and Achinta Sheuli finished first and second respectively in Group B of the men’s 73kg event at the Asian Championships here on Monday.

Competing in his first senior international tournament, Ajith lifted a total of 307kg (139kg+168kg), while Achinta could only manage 305kg (140kg+165kg).

Both lifters were assigned Group B based on their entry weights. The lifters who register the highest entry weight are placed in group A, followed by B and so on.

Ajith, the reigning national champion, lifted 135kg and 139kg in his opening two snatch attempts but couldn’t hoist the barbell in his final try of 141kg.

Similarly in clean and jerk, he lifted 164kg and 168kg with ease before faltering in his final try of 171kg.

Meanwhile, Achinta, who is coming off a hamstring injury that forced him to withdraw from last year’s World Championships, put up an underwhelming display as he could mange only three legal lifts.

The 2021 Junior World Championship silver medallist had a best effort of 140kg in snatch, and that too, in his second try. His personal best in the section is 143kg.

He had failed attempts of 169kg and 171kg in the clean and jerk section.

The Kolkata lifter had lifted 170kg during his gold-winning feat at the CWG last year.

The Indian contingent thus returns with three silver medals from the event — won by Commonwealth Games silver medallist Bindyarani Devi and reigning Youth Olympics champion Jeremy Lalrinninga.

Bindayarani won two silvers medals — one in the clean and jerk section and the other for her overall effort in the women’s 55kg event on Saturday — while CWG champion Jeremy, on the other hand, clinched the silver in the men’s 67kg snatch event.

Medals are awarded separately for snatch, clean and jerk, and total lift in continental and World Championships. But, just one medal for total lift is awarded in the Olympics.

Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Mirabai Chanu finished sixth in the women’s 49kg event as a dodgy hip forced her to withdraw after one clean and jerk attempt.

The 2023 Asian Championships is the second qualifying event for the 2024 Paris Olympics, where weightlifting events will be cut from 14 to 10.

However, it is an additional event and not a compulsory one and hence the lifters have been cautious not to stretch themselves.

Under the 2024 Olympic qualification rule, a lifter has to compulsorily compete in the 2023 World Championships and the 2024 World Cup.

Apart from the above, the lifter also has to participate in three of the following events — the 2022 World Championships, the 2023 Continental Championships, the 2023 Grand Prix 1, the 2023 Grand Prix II and the 2024 Continental Championships.

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) will publish the Olympic Qualification Ranking (OQR) of each weight category at the end of the qualification period.

A weightlifter’s best three performances at the qualifying events will be taken into account for final assessment.

Source: PTI News


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