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Commonwealth Weightlifting C'ships: Indian weightlifters target rich medal haul

Indian weightlifters will target a rich medal haul in the upcoming Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships in front of home crowd.

Commonwealth Weightlifting Cships: Indian weightlifters target rich medal haul

Weightlifter Ajay Singh could give India the first medal of Day 4


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 11 July 2023 10:02 AM GMT

India is expected to bag a bunch of medals despite the absence of star lifters, including Mirabai Chanu, as the Commonwealth Championships will start on Wednesday in Noida.

Commonwealth Championships has been a good tournament for the Indian lifters as the powerhouses China and North Korea are not a part of the tournament,

Since the 2011 edition of the Commonwealth Championships, India has finished as the best-performing nation every time, barring in 2013 and 2021.

In the last edition of the tournament, the Indian lifters brought back a haul of 16 medals - but lost the top spot to Canada owing to an inferior gold medal tally.

And this year, the lifters will be keen to rectify the mistake, especially with the home crowd cheering them on.

Despite the absence of big names such as Tokyo Olympic silver medallist Mirabai -- the biggest name in Indian weightlifting, Youth Olympic champion Jeremy Lalrinnunga, CWG medallists Achinta Sheuli, Bindyarani Devi, and Sanket Sargar due to various reasons, the 20-member squad is more than capable of podium finishes.

Several of the lifters in the squad tasted success in 2021 and stood on the podium in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Former Asian champion in the 45kg weight class Jhilli Dalabehera and 2022 junior World Championships silver medallist Gyaneshwari Yadav will be competing in the 49kg category in the absence of Mirabai.

Popy Hazarika (59kg) and the CWG bronze-winning duo of Harjinder Kaur (71kg) and Lovepreet Singh (109kg) would like to change the shade of their medals from silver to gold.

Two-time champion Ajay Singh, on the other hand, would like to complete a hat-trick of gold medals.

Asian Games-bound national champion N Ajith (73kg) would be keen to put up a good performance in an international event in the absence of his rival Sheuli, who competes in the same weight class.

India is hosting the tournament for the second time, having successfully organized it in Pune in 2015.

As many as 253 weightlifters, including 52 Indians, will be competing across the senior, junior, and youth categories in the five-day tournament.

The tournament, which will take place at the Gautam Budh University, will also serve as a test run for the new venue ahead of the more prestigious AWF Asian Junior and Youth Weightlifting championship, slated to begin later this month.

Indian Weightlifting Squad for Commonwealth Championships

Women: Komal Kohar (45kg), Jhilli Dalabehera (49kg), Gyaneshwari Yadav (49kg), Shrabani Das (55kg), Popy Hazarika (59kg), Nirupama Devi (64kg), S Pallavi (64kg), Harjinder Kaur (71kg), Vanshita Verma (81kg), Purnima Pandey (+87kg).

Men: Mukund Aher (55kg), T Madhavan (67kg), Shubham Todkar (61kg), N Ajith (73kg), Ajay Singh (81kg), Amarjit Guru (89kg), Vishwakarma Jagdish (96kg), Harshad Wadekar (96kg), Harcharan Singh (102kg), Lovepreet Singh (109kg).

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