P Gururaja won India their first medal at the Commonwealth Games 2018 after he struck silver medal in Gold Coast in the men’s 56kg final with a total lift of 249kg. He lifted 111kg in snatch and then 138kg in clean and jerk to win the silver medal for India. Gururaja failed to lift the weight of 138kg in his first two attempts but managed to lift it in his final attempt to secure the medal.
Gururaja had to finish second as the gold medal went to Izahar Ahmad of Malaysia who lifted a total weight of 261kg. His total lift was a Games record. In his snatch attempt, Ahmad lifted 117kg, which was also a Games record. In clean and jerk, he lifted 144kg.
“I am very happy to have opened India’s medal account in the Games. It was nowhere close to being my best performance but I am glad that it was enough to get me a silver medal,” a grinning Gururaja said after the effort.
“I didn’t quite understand why my second lift was not declared valid. It was disallowed for a very minor movement of the arm. Had it been allowed I could have gone for a higher lift an perhaps target gold. But still I am happy,” said the lifter. “The medals for the last three years have been rotating among the three of us,” Gururaja observed.
The bronze medal in the same category went to Sri Lanka’s Chaturanga Lakmal. He led Gururaja at the end of the snatch category with a lift of 114kg but he managed only 134kg in the clean and jerk to finish third in the final.
Hailing from Karnataka, 25-year-old Gururaja is employed with the Indian Air Force. He is son of a truck driver.
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