Weightlifter Sanjita Chanu (53kg) today claimed her second successive Commonwealth Games gold medal, smashing a Games record in the process, despite nursing a nagging back problem here. The dimunutive Manipuri lifted a total of 192kg (84kg+108kg) to claim the gold ahead of Paupa New Guinea’s Loa Dika Toua, who finished with 182kg (80kg+102kg) for a silver. The bronze medal went to Canada’s Rachel-LeBlanc-Bazinet (81kg+100kg).
“Although I had done better in the Commonwealth Championships but still I am ok with what I managed today,” Chanu, an employee of the Indian Railways, said after her triumph. The Indian broke down when she was presented her medal, the performance pressure of the last few months finally releasing at the podium. “A lot of people said that probably I wasn’t good enough for a medal.
My back injury that I picked up at the World Championships last year is still not fully healed. I am probably at 90 per cent right now,” said the soft-spoken youngster. “Our physios are not allowed to be with us in the competition area due to accreditation issues. I broke down at the medal ceremony thinking about all that. It all just came crashing down, the pressure of the past few months,” she added.
Sanjita had won a 48kg category gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. “I am quite happy with the achievement that I claimed two gold medals,” she said. The record she broke today was also in the name of an Indian, Swarti Singh, who lifted 83kg in snatch at Glasgow Games.
Sanjita had earlier claimed the gold with a total effort of 195kg (85kg+110kg) in the Commonwealth Championships last year.
Indian weightlifters have claimed two gold and a silver thus far in this edition of the Games. Yesterday, Mirabai Chanu (48kg) had smashed three Games records en route her gold medal after P Gururaja opened the medal account with a silver in the men’s 56kg category.