Taekwondo’s loss turned out to be weightlifting’s gain as Bindyarani Devi Sorokhaibam, figuring in her maiden Commonwealth Games, registered a Games Record (GR) in clean & jerk to pick up the silver medal in the women’s 55kg final.
“I feel very happy that I was able to land the silver medal. I am all the happier because I could also register a Games Record. I will keep doing better,” Bindyarani, who switched sports in 2012 after getting inspired by a poster of decorated Indian ‘lifter Kunjarani Devi, said after the conclusion of her event.
She is not called ‘Mirabai Chanu 2.0’ for nothing. The similarities, in fact, are uncanny. Both the lifters are from Manipur. They are both armed with endearing smiles. With the barbell in hand, the duo is the very image of unfettered genius. And of course, both made the country proud on day two of the Birmingham Games.
Even before landing in the West Midlands, Bindyarani had told Sportstar how her family was gearing up to celebrate if she won a medal. “They are ready for a grand reception ceremony – my family and friends back home. I am planning to distribute sweets if I win.”
Her brother signed up on the official broadcaster’s app only the previous day to watch her live. “My family has always supported me. Be it taekwondo or weightlifting, they always had my back,” she said.
Bindyarani on Saturday managed to lift a combined weight of 202 kg at the National Exhibition Centre. Her best attempt in snatch was 86kg while she managed to lift a personal best total of 116 kg in clean & jerk, the previous GR being 106kg.
““The World Championships are there. Even Olympics. Will have these in mind.””Bindyarani, on her plans moving forward
Although Bindyarani was gunning for gold, she ultimately lost to Adijat Adenike Olarinoye. The Nigerian lifted a total of 203 kg – a kg more than Bindyarani. England’s Fraer Morrow won bronze. The 23-year-old says she is more than happy. “I am proud of all the medal winners of the Indian weightlifting contingent today.”
Bindyarani’s win sealed India’s fourth medal at the 2022 Games, all coming from weightlifting. While Chanu won gold, Bindyarani and Sanket Mahadev Sargar settled for silver. Gururaja Poojary won bronze.
Bindyarani, participating in international competitions since 2016, thanked her coach and sponsors for everything she has achieved thus far. “Vijay Sharma has always helped me focus on training. For whatever help I have required along the way, he has been there by my side. Also, all sportspersons need sponsors. So, I was happy to come on board with Sportsapp. I have received help in training and nutrition.”
When training at the MSG gym ahead of this CWG, Bindyarani had said: “My clean & jerk is a bit weak. So, I am trying to focus a bit more on that in training.” Guess in which section she shattered the GR today...
Manipuri literature motivates Bindyarani. She believes in leading a healthy lifestyle. “I read and sometimes listen to motivational stories on phone. I also follow a disciplined lifestyle. I eat nutritious food, sleep on time. I come back from training and before going to sleep, I try to rerun in my mind what my coaches asked me to work on on that particular day,” she said.
Bindyarani will next be seen in the National Games in August in India. She is also targeting the bigger showpieces now. “The World Championships are there. Even Olympics. Will have these in mind.”
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