Indian weightlifting coach rues missing gold

By Alkesh Sharma, IANS,

New Delhi : Weightlifting coach Harnam Singh is not a happy man despite India winning four medals on the opening day of the Commonwealth Games Monday and feels they could have ended with at least two golds.

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India’s Soniya Chanu and Sandhya Rani Devi won India’s first medals in the Commonwealth Games, silver and bronze, in the women’s weightlifting 48kg category while Sukhen Dey and Srinivasa Rao Valluri came up with a similar performance in the men’s 56kg category.

“Though we have won medals, I am personally not satisfied with the day’s performance. We had gold right in our pockets but we missed it,” said Singh.

Twenty-one-year old Sukhen, however, was satisfied with his performance.

“I am very happy with this achievement and look forward to improve from here. During the last one-year, I have worked on my shortcomings and paid attention on improving my technique in both snatch and clean and jerk categories,” he said.

“I am very thankful to my coaches as it is because of them I am able to win this medal today,” said Dey.

Malaysian lifter Amirul Hamizan Ibrahim (28), who won gold, also broke his previous Commonwealth record in the snatch category. He had a total lift of 257kg, with 116kg in the snatch and 141kg in the clean and jerk sections.

“I could not perform my best as I had a hamstring injury. If I was fully fit then I would have also broken my Commonwealth record of 145kg lift in the clean and jerk category,” said Ibrahim.

The Indian weightlifting federation had made a last minute entry into the Games. Indian Weightlifting Federation had to borrow over Rs.1.70 crore from the Games Organising Committee to pay the last two instalments of dope fine, to the International Weightlifting Federation, before the deadline of Aug 31.

Singh was confident that this time round all the medals will be “dope free”.

“We should leave the history behind and think about our future. We have taken all the precautions and kept a tab on our athletes’ diet. We have very good doctors to advise our players and we are sure we will win all medals, dope free. We expect better show from our lifters in the coming days,” said Singh.