New Delhi, April 5: The Indian Contingent put up a mixed show as they earned a gold and silver each on the opening day of the 21st Commonwealth Games at the Gold Coast on Thursday.
India, thus concluded the day with two medals – both in weightlifting – to finish on the fourth spot in the medals tally, which is led by England with 10 medals in their kitty.
Weight-lifters S. Mirabai Chanu and Gururaja sparkled to deliver a gold and a silver, respectively, for India.
Mirabai, the reigning world champion, delivered a power-packed performance in the women’s 48-kg category, leaving the competition far behind by setting Games and Commonwealth records in the snatch, clean and jerk as well as the total.
The Manipuri powerhouse registered 86 kg in the snatch and 110 kg in clean and jerk for a total of 196 kg. Such was her dominance that she net a record in each of her six lifts in the competition.
In the men’s 56-kg category, Gururaja had a best attempt of 111 kg in the snatch and 138 kg in the clean and jerk for a total of 249 kg to bag the silver medal.
The performances of Mirabai and Gururaja meant that weightlifting as a discipline continues to be a main medal-provider at the CWG.
The third weightlifter in action, Muthupandi Raja, finished sixth in the men’s 52-kg competition, lifting a total of 266 kg. The 18-year-old’s best effort in the snatch event was 116 kg and in the clean and jerk, he lifted 150 kg.
The day belonged to Mirabai and Gururaj. The former obliterated the previous Games record of 175 kg set by Nigeria’s Augustina Nwaokolo at the 2010 edition by a considerable distance.
Her previous personal best was 194 kg, which she had set during her title winning run at the World Championships last year.
Marie Hanitra of Mauritius finished a distant second with a total of 170 kg while Dinusha Gomes of Sri Lanka took bronze with 155 kg.
Chanu started off on a rousing note by breaking the existing Games record with a lift of 80 kg.
She went on to break the record two more times with successful attempts of 84 kg and 86 kg, the latter being her new personal best.
That gave her a massive lead of 10 kg over second placed Marie at the end of the snatch session.
The Indian star started the clean and jerk session in similar fashion, lifting 103 kg in her first attempt to take the lead straightaway.
Another successful lift of 107 kg consolidated her position at the top. The Manipuri went on to post a new personal best with 110 kg in her third and final attempt to close off a dominating performance.
Gururaja fell short of Azhar Ahmed of Malaysia, who won gold with a new CWG record of 261 kg.
Azhar, who had emerged champion at the Commonwealth Championships last year, bettered the previous Games record by one kilogram.
He also set a new Games record in the snatch with a successful lift of 117 kg in his second attempt. He bettered the previous record of 116 kg set by his compatriot Ibrahim at the New Delhi Games in 2010.
He cleared 144 kg in the clean and jerk which his personal best.
Chaturanga Lakmal of Sri Lanka claimed bronze with a total of 248 kg. He managed 114 kg in the snatch and 134 kg in clean and jerk.
Meanwhile, India outclassed Pakistan 5-0 in the badminton team event while the Indian women suffered defeat against their respective opponents in hockey and basketball respectively.
The cyclists also disappointed as the team failed to qualify in the track 4,000 metre Pursuit event. (With agencies input).