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CWG: Lifter Ajay Singh misses medal by whisker

Source: PTI
August 01, 2022 20:01 IST
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The 25-year-old managed a total effort of 319kg (143kg+176kg) to finish fourth best in the men's 81kg event.

IMAGE: The 25-year-old Ajay Singh managed a total effort of 319kg (143kg+176kg) to finish fourth best in the men's 81kg event. Photograph: PTI

A low snatch total and a fluffed clean and jerk lift cost Ajay Singh (81kg) dear as the Indian weightlifter missed the bronze medal by a whisker in his maiden Commonwealth Games appearance, in Birmingham on Monday.

The 25-year-old managed a total effort of 319kg (143kg+176kg) to finish fourth best in the men's 81kg event.

 

To the crowd's absolute delight, home favourite England's Chris Murray 325kg (144kg+181kg) grabbed the gold in a sensational manner as he broke the Games record in total lift.

Australian lifter Kyle Bruce (143kg+180kg) 323kg clinched the silver while Canada's Nicholas Vachon 320kg (140kg+180kg) finished with a bronze.

"I tried my best but it was simply not my day. There were no negative thoughts and coach (Vijay Sharma) kept motivating me, I gave my best but could not make it," Singh said after the event.

"I had three clean lifts (snatch) and at one point I was ahead by one kilogram. I thought I would give my best in clean jerk in my last effort but that did not happen," he added.

Singh's event was off to a dodgy start as he initially struggled to gain balance in his opening snatch lift. The Indian stopped just short of the end of the board with one out of the three judges giving him a red light but the 137kg lift was eventually deemed legit.

He went on to heave 140kg and then 143kg, five kilograms less than his personal best and national record, to be in joint-second position alongside Bruce after the snatch section ended.

Asked why he didn't attempt a higher snatch lift, Singh blamed injuries.

"I had to undergo surgeries in my biceps, shoulders in 2020. I'm about 95 per cent fit. It will take some time to recover fully. Hope to come back stronger by National Games and the World Championships.

"It's cold here and I have shoulder issues in such weather. I was confident but apprehensive and did not want to take risk," he added.

In the clean and jerk, Singh began with a 172kg lift before increasing four kilograms on the barbells for 176kg, which required a lot of effort for him to execute.

There was a four-way fight for the top spot between Singh, Bruce, Murray and Vachon.

In the end, a low snatch total and a failed 180kg attempt in the clean and jerk cost Singh dear as he missed out on a podium finish.

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