Mizo Weightlifting Sensation Claims India’s First Gold

Vastavam web: Weightlifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga scripted history by winning India’s maiden gold medal at the Youth Olympics, claiming the top honours in the men’s 62kg category here. The 15-year-old from Aizwal , who is also a world youth silver-medallist, lifted a total of 274kg (124kg +150kg) to finish on top in the Argentine capital on Monday night.

The silver medal went to Turkey’s Toptas Caner, who lifted 263 kg (122kg+141kg), while Colombia’s Villar Estiven Jose took the bronze with an effort of 260 kg (115kg+143kg). Lalrinnunga was himself an aspiring boxer before he shifted to weightlifting on the advice of coaches and was picked up by the Army Sports Institute scouts in 2011 at the age of 8.

His father is currently employed with Mizoram’s Public Works department. Earlier this year, Lalrinnunga claimed a silver (youth) and a bronze (junior) in the Asian Championships, smashing two national records in the process. His maiden gold also means that India are set to record their best ever performance at the Youth Olympics.

The country has already won four medals with Tushar Mane and Mehuli Ghosh bagging a silver each in 10m rifle shooting while Thangjam Tababi Devi won India’s first medal in judo by finishing second in the 44kg category. While Lalrinnunga made the nation proud, weightlifter Sneha Soren could not finish on the podium in the women’s 48kg category, signing off fifth.

In swimming, Srihari Nataraj, who competed in the 100m backstroke final despite being a reserve, could only manage a sixth position. In other events, Archana Kamath and Manav Thakkar, India’s representatives in table tennis, won their singles matches of the group stage. Kamath beat Malaysia’s Javen Choong 4-2 while Thakkar defeated Slovakia’s Aleksandra Vovk 4-1. Rising badminton sensation Lakshya Sen had it tough against Danylo Bosniuk in the first game before he regained his composure to beat the Ukrainian 23-21, 21-8.