Punam Yadav adding fifth gold medal and Vikas adds bronze

Vastavam web: Indian weightlifters remained a cut above the rest with Punam Yadav (69kg) adding a fifth gold medal and Vikas Thakur (94kg) picking up a bronze today in what has been a truly remarkable campaign so far at the Commonwealth Games here.Yadav, who hails from Dandupur village in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, was a 63kg category bronze-medallist in the 2014 Glasgow Games. Today, she pulled off a personal best of 222kg (110kg+122kg) to claim the top spot ahead of England’s Sarah Davies, who finished with 217kg (95kg+122kg).”I was expecting a good fight but from Fiji not England. I was a little nervous when Sarah went for 128kg in her final lift. She was capable of pulling it off,” Punam Yadav said after the medal ceremony.

“But then it’s all about fate, I got what was my destiny and she got what was her destiny. Thankfully our physio was allowed inside for some time for strapping my knee, I have slight pain there,” the 22-year-old added.Adding a dash of bronze to the collection was Thakur (94kg), who lifted a total of 351kg (159kg+192kg) on a day when Papua New Guinea’s Steven Kari broke the Commonwealth as well as the Games record in clean and jerk for a total lift of 370kg (154kg+216kg).

Thakur faltered in his final two attempts in clean and jerk, aiming for a 200kg lift that would have fetched him a silver. The final attempt was especially messed up as he struggled to keep up with the statutory one-minute window he had to complete the lift.”I was competing after just 10 months of regular training because I had to get my shoulder operated due to an injury,” he added on a more serious note.

Yadav and Thakur’s haul took India’s overall weightlifting medal tally to five gold, a silver and two bronze medals so far, a performance made special by the fact that most of them nursed varying niggles and did not have access to a full-time physio owing to an accreditation goof-up for which none has taken responsibility so far.