Magical Mirabai wins gold, Sanket and Gururaja win silver and bronze respectively


Magical Mirabai wins gold, Sanket and Gururaja win silver and bronze respectively

Sanket Sargar, Mirabai Chanu, and Gururaja

Diminutive Mirabai Chanu lead the Indian charge as the Indian weightlifters flexed their muscles in style at the University of Birmingham arena on Saturday night. Winning a gold, silver, and bronze medal, all in the matter of a few hours, was the perfect weekend that sports lovers wanted at home, in India.

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The toast and the taste of the nation, Mirabai was ice cool as she showcased her improvement in “snatch,” which had been her weak link. She started at 84kg and then pumped it further to 88kg. However, she failed at the 90kg mark, which was a bit too much. Then came clean and jerk, where her composure and calm stood out. The Tokyo Olympics silver medallist blazed her way to gold as she broke the Games record with an aggregate effort of 201 Kg.

To be sure, Mirabai had the audience and the commentators on the edge of their seats as she was attempting 113kg in her last effort in clean and jerk. That she could not do it is a different story. She had already sealed gold and what she was challenging was not opponents but her own body.

For someone who had been battling acute back pain for a very long time after the 2016 Rio Olympics, Mirabai was unsure what lay in store for her. She had seen several doctors and been to many hospitals. Finally, it was her trip to the United States of America, before the Tokyo Olympics, funded by the Indian government, where matters relating to pain and her technique got sorted. She had taken the help of world-class and renowned physio expert Dr. Aaron Horschig in St Louis.

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Mirabai Chanu
Mirabai Chanu (Credits: SAI)

Even after her silver effort in Tokyo, Mirabai had told this writer she wanted to improve her technique in snatch. Hours of practice leading to perfection saw the ice-cool lady perform with the symphony of Beethoven. She was the defending champion from the last CWG in Gold Coast. But what she achieved on Saturday was more milestones and memories of magical proportion.

Mirabai Chanu- One of India’s greatest

Mirabai Chanu
Mirabai Chanu

In 2000, when Karnam Malleswari won bronze at the Sydney Olympics, it was path-breaking. Watching Mirabai in the last few years, one can say she is challenging all human limits. In fact, she is competing with aggression and pushing herself to limits beyond human body dynamics. All that has not been achieved without slogging.

Hours before her stepping into the arena, Indian Weightlifting Federation boss Sahdev Yadav had told this writer gold was certain. “We are waiting for her to show something brilliant,” he told FirstSportz. And that is how it panned out on Saturday night in Birmingham. There is unfinished business left for Mirabai, who will attempt to win a gold medal in the 2024 Paris Olympics. Before that, she will have a go at the gold in the Asian Games as well next year in Hangzhou.

Also Read: Leon Edwards carries the torch for the Commonwealth Games in his hometown of Birmingham

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Sanket Sargar and Gururaja with a spirited performance before Mirabai Chanu took center stage

Sanket Sargar and Gururaja
Sanket Sargar and Gururaja

On a day when the son of a chaiwallah and paan shop owner from Sangli, Maharashtra, and the son of a truck driver from Karnataka won silver and bronze respectively, the focus was on how India has produced champions from differing economic backgrounds. Yes, Sanket Sargar’s father runs a shop in Sangli, and the father was proud of his son’s achievement. “I have to fund my two children in sport and am extremely happy,” he said.

Gururaja Poojary’s father had no qualms about speaking in chaste Kannada, where he thanked one and all for celebrating his son’s bronze medal. He said the medal belongs to India, in front of a clutch of TV cameras.

For Sanket Sargar, it looked like a gold medal-winning situation. However, he hurt his right elbow and was later taken to the hospital. The boy comes from a humble background and dedicated his medal to the entire nation and Bravehearts.

Gururaja dedicated the medal to his wife, as she has been away from her thanks to the training camps.

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Also Read: Which countries are a part of the Commonwealth Games? What are the qualifications for a country to be a part of the Games?

Also Read: The Commonwealth Games: Know all about India’s flag bearers over the years, and why they received the honour

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