Services lifter Veerender Singh stunned two-time Commonwealth Games medallist Vikas Thakur to win the men's 96kg gold medal in the National weightlifting championships at the Railway Indoor Sports Enclave here on Wednesday.

Veerender's total of 350kg was good enough to fetch him the top honour as Thakur could not give his best and managed 342kg to settle for the silver medal.

Kojum Taba of Arunachal Pradesh claimed the third place with 334kg.

Veerender lifted 156kg in his opening attempt in snatch against Thakur's 151kg. Veerender did not succeed while trying 160kg a couple of times, but was hardly affected as Thakur's effort of 155kg was twice adjudged as 'no lift.'

Going into the clean and jerk with a deficit of five kg, 25-year-old Thakur closed the gap by lifting 191kg while Veerender did 188kg.

READ: Weightlifter Ravi Kumar back to where he belongs

Veerender's 194kg in second try put pressure on his fellow Services man representing Punjab. Thakur's push for 200kg in his two concluding efforts went in vain as 29-year-old Veerender secured his maiden gold medal.


Vikas Thakur could not give his best and managed 342kg to settle for the silver medal.


“Happy to be the champion. Thakur is a good lifter but could not do it. Some of my efforts were wasted too. It's part of the game,” said Veerender.

Thakur took the defeat in his stride. “I had done my best, 353kg, in the Olympic qualifying event in Thailand earlier this month. Today was not my day,” he said.

Sahil Sharma won the 102kg crown convincingly. Sahil's 150kg in snatch helped him establish a handsome lead over others. He ensured the gold medal with his second clean and jerk lift of 183kg, even though two others did 183kg or more.

Another prominent lifter Pardeep Singh (318kg) could not achieve 187kg in his final try and had to satisfy with the bronze medal behind Ramshad A.R. (324kg).