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Can Sanket Sargar create history at World Weightlifting Championships?

India have won 16 medals in the 130-year-old history of World Weightlifting Championships, but all of them have been won by women. Can Sanket Sargar be the first male lifter to medal?

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Sanket Sargar (SAI)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 7 Dec 2021 1:35 PM GMT

India's women have won 16 medals in the 130-year-old history of the World Weightlifting Championships but no male lifter from India has ever managed to make it to the podium. Karnam Malleshwari and Mirabai Chanu have been crowned champions at this event, while Kunjarani Devi also won seven silvers. At the 2021 edition, which is set to begin on Tuesday, Sanket Mahadev Sargar could create history by joining their ranks.

Going by entry weights, which are indicative of the weights lifters plan to lift during the event, Sanket is the Indian most likely to be within shot of a medal place. He is placed joint-third on the list of entry weights in the 55-kg category.

Tokyo Olympics medallist Mirabai Chanu has opted to sit out of this event, while among the rest of the Indian contingent at this event, not many are within range of a medal. Jhilli Dalabehera's entry weight is 8th in the list of 49-kg entries. Youth Olympics gold medalist Jeremy Lalrinnunga, who finished 4th in Junior World Championships in May this year, is 11th on the list of entry weights in the 67-kg category at the upcoming Senior World Championships.

Who is Sanket Sargar?

Sanket Sargar was selected to represent India through trials at NIS Patiala in the month of October. Hailing from Sangli in Maharashtra, which has a strong tradition in weightlifting, the 21-year-old is a student of History at Kolhapur's Shivaji University.

He was the Khelo India Youth Games 2020 and Khelo India University Games 2020 champion and also holds the national record (Snatch 108kg, Clean& Jerk 139kg and Total 244kg) in the 55kg category. He will be making his World Championships debut this week.

However, Sanket Sargar's weight category (55kg) is not an Olympic weight category. He may be moving up to the 61-kg category to aim for a place in the Paris Olympics.

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