Venkat Rahul adds fourth gold medal to India’s weightlifting tally.
Venkat Rahul Ragala extended India’s medal-hunting run in the weightlifting competitions as he clinched the gold medal in the men’s 85kg category at the Commonwealth Games here on Saturday.
Venkat Rahul, the 21-year-old from Andhra Pradesh, lifted a total of 338 kg — 151 kg in snatch and 187 in clean and jerk — to bring maiden gold medal for India in this weight category.
The silver medal went to Samoa’s Don Opeloge, who lifted 331 kg — three more than Malaysian bronze medallist Muhamad Fazrul Azrie Mohdad. Cameroon’s Donald Keyimeh Nkoh was fourth with a total lift of 326 kg.
Venkat Rahul’s gold medal was India’s fourth in Gold Coast and sixth overall in this edition. All of medals for India here have come from weightlifting category.
Also, India has got four gold medals in weightlifting competitons in an edition of the CWG for the first time.
Venkat Rahul lifted 147 kg in his first effort in snatch to set the lead early. Opeloge and Fazrul were not behind, lifting 144 and 145 kg respectively in their first efforts.
Venkata Rahul, in his second effort, failed to lift 151 kg, while Fazrul flopped in his 150kg lift, Opeloge took the lead with a lift of 148 kg.
The Indian, however, bounced back in his third effort of lifting 151 kg. Opeloge too didn’t relent and matched the Indian’s effort to tie the top spot after the snatch round, while Fazrul fell behind by failing to lift 150 kg for the second straight time.
In the first effort of clean and jerk, a lift of 182 kg put Venkata Rahul on the lead, even though Nkoh matched it, he was behind in overall lifts. Opeloge and Fazrul successfully lifted 180 kg and 175 kg respectively.
Venkat Rahul further raised his level with a 187kg lift in his second effort of clean and jerk. While Opeloge flopped in hia 188kg lift, Fazrul was successful with an 181kg effort. Nkoh kept up his spirit with an 186kg lift.
In the final efforts, Venkat Rahul failed in his 191kg lift. Similarly, Opeloge also failed to lift 191kg, giving the Indian the top place.
In the battle for the third place, Fazrul lifted 183kg to take the gold after Nkoh failed in his lift of 189kg.
Nataraj misses out
Indian swimmer Srihari Nataraj finished ninth in the semi-finals of the men’s 50 metre backstroke event on Saturday. Placed in the semi-final 2, Srihari completed the race in 26.50 seconds with a 0.64 second reaction time.
His position in the semi-final 2 was fifth but in the overall semi-finals standings, he was ninth. Top eight performers enter the final.
Earlier during the heats, Srihari recorded a time of 26.47 seconds to qualify in the ninth spot among 16 qualifiers. The Indian finished third in Heat 1 behind Australia’s Mitch Larkin and Xavier Castelli of Wales.
Australians Mitch Larkin and Benjamin Treffers claimed the top two spots in the semi-finals with the timings of 24.91 and 24.99 seconds respectively.