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Mirabai Chanu wins gold at Birmingham at Commonwealth Games

At the Commonwealth Games lifting venue, Indian women had a fantastic Saturday. The Tokyo Olympics’ silver-medal winner Mirabai Chanu won the 49-kg weight class with ease, and Bindyarani Devi won the 55-kg division for silver. The weightlifting organisation had initially intended to move both up by a weight division before the Games, but neither did so even after excelling in their preferred weight classes.

Mirabai Chanu wins gold at Birmingham at Commonwealth Games

It had suggested moving Chanu and Bindyarani Devi to 59 and 55 kg, respectively. It said that doing so would increase India’s prospects of winning medals in more categories, particularly as Chanu was considered capable of taking home the gold in the 55-kg weight class. However, there would have been a commotion if the scheme had failed.

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) forbade the transition, therefore the Indian body was unable to move forward with its plans. According to the statement, the top lifter in her division would be given first dibs. Another competitor will only be permitted if the greatest lifter has been unable to compete.

With national records in the clean and jerk (114 kg) and overall lift, Bindyarani entered the CWG as India’s top 55 kg lifter (198kg). She finished Saturday’s competition in second place with a total lift of 202 kg (86 kg snatch, 116 kg clean & jerk), only one kilogramme short of the gold medal earned by Nigerian Adijat Adenike Olarinoye (203 – 92 + 111). Fraer Morrow of England won bronze (198kg).

Bindyarani surpassed her personal best in the clean and jerk by 2kg, breaking both the new national and Commonwealth Games records. She finished third in the snatch competition behind Olarinoye (92 kg) and Morrow (89kg). In a last-ditch effort to win the gold, Morrow added 6kg for her final lift, but she was unsuccessful. Bindyarani pushed the weight to 116 kg in her third and final effort after lifting 110 kg on her first try and failing to lift 114 kg on the second. Bindyarani was successful and jumped for delight thanks to her petite frame and explosive power.

Earlier in the day, Mirabai Chanu won the 49kg gold.

Similar to Chanu, Bindyarani is from Manipur and was a black belt in taekwondo before transitioning to weightlifting.

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