India’s star weightlifter Meera Bai Chanu broke the Commonwealth Games (CWG) records to give India its first gold medal on the second day of the Birmingham 2022 Games. The Tokyo 2020 Olympics silver medalist competing in the women’s 49kg category, including a personal best of 88kg in the 2020 overall weight snatch, to win the competition by a narrow margin. Mauritania’s Ruilia Ranaivuswa won the silver medal with a total of 172 kg, while Canada’s Hannah Kaminsky won the bronze medal with a total of 171 kg. The Indian star’s total lift of 201kgs is a new CWG record while his snatch attempt was also a CWG as well as a Commonwealth record.
That wasn’t the only good news on the day India opened its medal count with one win in each ring of the weightlifting sport.
It started with Sanket Mahadev Sargar’s heroic silver in the men’s 55kg class when, with an injured shoulder at the end, he went down by just 1kg to Malaysia’s Muhammad Aneeq bin Kasdan. Sanket lifted 113 in the snatch and 135 in the clean and jerk for a total of 248 kg. Ben Kasdan gave Sanket a six-kilogram advantage in the snitch, but then lifted a stunning CWG record 142kg in the clean and jerk, securing Malaysia’s first gold medal in weightlifting on the day.
The bronze medal came for India in the men’s 61kg category when Gururaja Pujari lifted a total of 269kg to beat Canada’s Yuri Samrad by one in a nail-biting contest. Gururaja lifted 118 kg in snatch and 151 kg in clean and jerk. Aznil bin Badin Mohamad won Malaysia his second weightlifting gold of the day, setting a new CWG record with a total lift of 285kg. His attempts of 127 in Snatch and 158 in Clean and Jerk were also CWG records. Maurya Baru of Papua New Guinea won the silver medal with a total lift of 273 kg.
Bandyarani Devi won the silver medal in the women’s 55 kg category with the final lift of the night, taking India’s medal tally to four after the second day of competition.
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In table tennis, Indian paddlers continued their smooth run in the group stage with easy wins in both the women’s and men’s team events. In Group 2, the women beat Guyana 3-0 for their second win, while in Group 3, the men overcame Northern Ireland by the same margin. Later in the day, defending champions India crashed out of the women’s table tennis team event at the Commonwealth Games after losing 3-2 to Malaysia in the quarterfinals.
India’s world number 15 squash star Saurav Ghosal got his campaign off to a positive start with a fluent 3-0 win over Sri Lanka’s Shamail Vakil. Joshna Chinpa outclassed Barbados’ Megan Best as 18-time national champion Chinpa won in straight sets (11-8, 11-9, 12-10). Sanaina Sara Kurvela lost to Malaysia’s IIFA Azman 7-11, 7-11, 7-11 as Anahit Singh and Abhay Singh crashed out.
The Indian mixed badminton team has already qualified for the quarter-finals, with impressive wins against Sri Lanka and Australia.
India, however, suffered a few setbacks as Sanaina Kurvela lost 0-3 to Malaysia’s IIFA Azman in the round-of-32 clash while Ramit Tandon walked out of the competition.
Indian swimmer Sri Hari Nataraj finished seventh in the men’s 100m backstroke final with a time of 54:31!
The second day also saw the start of the athletics events with the men’s and women’s marathons. India’s Nitendra Singh Rawat finished 12th in the men’s marathon with a time of 2:19:22 hours.
Already in the quarter-finals, defending champions India continued their impressive run as they defeated Australia in their final Group A match of the mixed team competition.
Lulina Borgohen easily defeated Ariana Nicholson 5-0 in the women’s light middleweight category 70kg quarter-finals. Muhammad Hussamuddin also scored a unanimous 5-0 win over South Africa’s Amzul Dye. Sanjeet Kumar though lost 3-2 to Samoa’s Elo Liu in the men’s 92kg heavyweight round of 16.
Vandana Kataria bagged two goals as the Indian women’s hockey team beat Wales 3-1 to register their second straight win in Pool A.
India also had some victories in the lawn bowls with the duo of Dinesh Kumar and Sunil Bahadur defeating the Cook Islands 15-8 in the men’s doubles Section C Group E match. This was his second victory in the competition.
In cycling, India’s Mayuri Lovett finished 20th in the women’s sprint qualifier and Triasha Paul 23rd, while Meenakshi finished 15th in the women’s 3000m individual pursuit qualifier. In the men’s 4000m individual pursuit qualifiers, Vishwajit Singh finished 18th and Dinesh Kumar 19th. In the men’s cairn, David Beckham finished fourth in heat-2 while Aso Albin was relegated in heat-4. The last two players also finished second in repechages.
Tania Chaudhary continued to have a tough time in women’s singles sectional play at the Lawn Bowls, suffering another loss, this time losing 10-21 to Wales’ Laura Daniels in the Group B match.
India didn’t have much luck on the gymnastics front as the women’s team trio of Pranthi Naik, Ruthuja Nataraj and Pratistha Samantha finished fifth in sub-division four of the event.
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