SAG: Teenager Lapung clinches weightlifting gold

The teenager from East Kameng in Arunachal Pradesh won his first international gold medal in the senior section.

India's Sambo Lapung in action in the 69 Kg Weightlifting event at the 12th South Asian Games in Guwahati.   -  K MURALI KUMAR

India was left to be satisfied with three gold medals out of four for a second day running in the weightlifting event with teenager Sambo Lapung getting an unexpected victory in the men’s 69kg category.

Saraswati Rout and Ajay Singh were the other two who struck it rich by taking gold in the women’s 58kg and men’s 77kg classes respectively, but Reena did not have it her way in the women’s 63kg category. She was reduced to tears and left ruminating on the circumstances which forced her to relinquish the title which was well within her grasp after the first portion of the two segment competition.

But beyond the tragedy which saw the Indian failing to clear the opening weight of 110kg in the clean and jerk in all her three attempts after getting to the lead with a smart 90kg in snatch, the day nevertheless belonged to 19-year-old Lapung who took a great risk during the last phase of the clean and jerk in his section only to be rewarded with his first international gold medal in the senior section.

The teenager from East Kameng in Arunachal Pradesh was in the third position behind Indira Dissanayake (Sri Lanka) and Abu Sufyan (Pakistan) after the snatch which saw the top three returning with efforts of 128kg, 124kg and 123kg.

Sufyan started off with two good attempts of 148kg and 151kg in the clean and jerk and looked settled for the silver behind Dissanayake, who cleared a weight of 153kg effortlessly in his first trial.

This after Lapung failed to lift 153kg off his second, having cleared 148kg in his first. The Sri Lankan, assured of the title, called for 155kg in his second attempt but came a cropper in the same round and then again in the third. Still, his total of 281kg looked safe as Sufyan settled for 275kg, failing to clear 157kg off his third.

It was at this stage that the young Indian took his chances by raising the bar to 158kg and went for the title as it became apparent by then that, in the event of a positive showing, he had the chance to win the gold medal on weight. Lapung cleared the attempt successfully and jumped for joy as the board showed three white lights against his name.

The results

Men: 69kg: 1. Sambo Lapung (Ind), 123+158-281, 2. Indira Dissanayake (SL), 128+153-281, 3. Abu Sufyan (Pak), 124+151=275.

77kg: 1. Ajay Singh (Ind), 136+169=305, 2. Chinthane Vidanage (SL), 133+167=300, 3. Umar Rasook Lone (Pak), 120+161=281.

Women: 58kg: 1. Sarawasti Rout (Ind), 80+107= 187, 2. Fullapati Chakma (Ban) 63+81=144, 3. Umeira Moideen (SL), 61+81=142.

63kg: 1. Mabia Aktar (Ban), 67+82=149, 2. Ayesha Vinodani (Sl), 63_75=138, 3. Jun Maya Chhantyal (Nep), 55+70=125.