CWG 2018: Indian lifting fights its way to prominence

Pardeep Singh, on Monday, added a silver medal in the 105kg category, inflating the country's tally to nine - five gold, two silver and two bronze medals.

Vikas Thakur lifted a total of 351kg for his bronze medal at Gold Coast.   -  [email protected]_SAI

Military-like discipline and strict vigil against doping were the primary reasons behind India's extraordinary success in weightlifting at the 21st Commonwealth Games here.

India clinched the top spot in the weightlifting event with Pardeep Singh, on Monday, adding a silver medal in the 105kg category and inflating the country's tally to nine - five gold, two silver and two bronze.

READ: Weightlifter Pardeep claims silver

Earlier, S. Sathish Kumar (77kg), R.V. Rahul (85kg) and women lifters Mirabai Chanu (48kg), Sanjita Chanu (53kg) and Punam Yadav (69kg) had bagged a gold each.

Gururaja (56kg) had pocketed a silver medal, while Deepak Lather (69kg) and Vikas Thakur (94kg) had a bronze apiece.

READ: CWG: Vikas adds bronze to weightlifting haul

Since this edition of the Games allowed each country only one entry per one weight, India, unlike previous years, did not have the luxury of fielding two lifters in smaller weights.

According to National coach Vijay Sharma, the success was a result of some hard decisions. “For the last four years, most of these lifters have been training in the National camp. They have taken leave of only 10 to 12 days in these years,” Sharma told Sportstar.

“We have not won a medal in the Asian Games for many years. It seems we can win medals there too,” said Sharma.

READ: Venkat Ragala dedicates win to parents

Asked how weightlifting, mostly mired in doping controversies in the past, managed to minimise the menace, Sharma said, “Most of the cases were due to supplement adulteration. Lifters tested positive for stimulants rather than steroids. For some time now, they are being given only those supplements which are provided by the federation. In the last National championship, there was not a single dope positive case.

“Besides, regular dope tests by National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) and frequent checks by us have discouraged lifters from taking to doping,” said Sharma, hoping that a sustained effort might make India's chances brighter in the 2020 Olympics.

Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) secretary general Sahdev Yadav said the national body's alertness was a crucial factor. “It's the result of the federation's determination and the athletes' hard work. The Sports Ministry helped us too. Discipline and regular checking curbed doping and brought good results,” said Yadav.