Railways' Raja takes gold in weightlifting Nationals

M. Raja pipped Commonwealth Games silver medallist Gururaja Poojary to claim the men's 61kg gold medal in the National weightlifting championships.

Rishikanta Singh of Manipur won gold in the the men's 55kg category on Friday.   -  C.V. Subrahmanyam

Nineteen-year-old M. Raja pipped Commonwealth Games silver medallist Gururaja Poojary to claim the men's 61kg gold medal in the National weightlifting championships at the Railways Indoor Sports Enclave here on Saturday.

In an interesting tussle, Raja of Railways gathered a total of 264kg to beat 26-year-old Gururaja of Services by a slender margin of one kg.

Sidhant Gogoi, a product of Army Sports Institute (ASI) Pune, representing his home state Assam, secured the bronze medal by lifting 259kg in his maiden appearance.

Even though Raja, a silver medallist in 62kg a year ago, could not better Gururaja's 118kg in snatch and trailed by one kg, the Railways man put pressure on his rival in clean and jerk by lifting 147kg in his first attempt.

Gururaja, who had a silver in Gold Coast in 56kg, began with 145kg but could not raise his performance apparently due to a leg injury and settled for the silver.

Switching from 53kg, in which she had secured a silver medal in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Railways lifter Matsa Santoshi was not able to achieve her target of 87kg in snatch and 110kg in clean and jerk, but did enough to win the 55kg title with a total lift of 188kg.

Santoshi did 84kg in her final snatch attempt and 104kg in her second try in clean and jerk.

Harshdeep Kaur and B. Usha were locked in a close fight for the silver medal after both did 80kg in snatch. The former finished second with 182kg, a kg more than the local favourite, to take the second place.

The results:

Men: 61kg: 1. M. Raja (RSPB) snatch 117kg, clean and jerk 147kg, total 264kg; 2. P. Gururaja (SSCB) 118kg, 145kg, 263kg; 3. Sidhant Gogoi (Asm) 113kg, 146kg, 259kg.

Women: 55kg: 1. Matsa Santoshi (RSPB) 84kg, 104kg, 188kg; 2. Harshdeep Kaur (Pun) 80kg, 102kg, 182kg; 3. B. Usha (AP) 80kg, 101kg, 181kg.

59kg: 1. E. Deexitha (Tel) 85kg, 115kg, 200kg; 2. Davinder Kaur (Pun) 87kg, 111kg, 198kg; 3. Swati Singh (RSPB) 83kg, 110kg, 193kg.