Weightlifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga will be India’s flag bearer at the closing ceremony of the Summer Youth Olympics it was officially announced by the Indian Olympic Association on Saturday. Lalrinnunga claimed the top honours in the men’s 62 kg category and the 15-year-old etched his name in the history books as he became the first Indian to win a gold medal at the Youth Olympics.
Jeremy lifted a total of 274 kg (124 kg +150 kg), just 1 kg short of the senior national record, to secure a gold medal. The weightlifter, who hails from Aizawl, has previously bagged silver (youth) and a bronze (junior) medals in the Asian Championships.
Jeremy began his weightlifting stint back as an eight-year-old at the State Sports Coaching Centre in Aizawl. Before joining the academy, Jeremy lifted weights using bamboo sticks and water connection pipes under the supervision of Malsawma Khiangte, his first trainer. In 2012, he was selected to train at the Army Sports Institute in Pune.
Jeremy also created a new national record at the sub-junior nationals in Patna in 2016 with a lift of 90kg in snatch and 108kg in clean and jerk. The Mizo sensation continued his terrific run as he went on to bag a silver medal at the World Youth Weightlifting Championship in Malaysia with a combined effort of 235kg in the same year.
Shooter Manu Bhaker was India’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony. She also became the first Indian shooter to clinch a gold medal at the Youth Olympics. Bhaker won a gold medal in the 10m pistol gold event as she shot 236.5 in the finals.
India had sent its biggest contingent in this edition of the Youth Olympics. A total of 47 athletes represented the nation in 13 sports. Asian Games gold medalist shooter Saurabh Chaudhary was also a part of the Indian squad.