Weightlifting: Senior Nationals from tomorrow

The tournament will be inaugurated by G. Dharmarajan, IPS, in the presence of Tamil Nadu Weightlifting Association president Pon Robert Singh and secretary G. Rajakumar.

A file photo of S.Sathish Kumar, who will take part in the Senior National weightlifting championship in Nagercoil.   -  K. K. Najeeb

The 69th men’s and the 32nd women’s senior National weightlifting championship will begin at the Ponjesly Engineering College here on Monday. The State last hosted the senior Nationals in Chennai in 1996.

Last year in Patiala, Railways emerged the champion in both the sections. The men face tough competition from Services, which finished runner-up, while in the women’s section, the All India Sports Control Board, that finished second, can challenge the champion.

B. Venkatramaiah, vice-president, Indian Weightlifting Federation and the Senior Competition Director, said “we expect around 350 participants, including 230 men, along with technical officials to arrive from various institutions such as Railways, Services, FCI along with States like Manipur, Odisha, Punjab, Haryana and U.P.”

Top weightlifters, including Rio Olympians S. Sathish Kumar (77kg) and Mirabai Chanu (48kg), Commonwealth Games medallists Sanjita Chanu (48kg), Punam Yadav (69kg), Vikas Thakur (85kg), and R. V. Rahul, the 2014 Youth Olympics silver medallist, are expected to take part.

Tamil Nadu, which has a contingent of 15 lifters, will expect M. Manoj Kumar, S. Mohan Sundaram and B. Suda to do well in the men’s and women’s 56kg category respectively.

The tournament will be inaugurated by G. Dharmarajan, IPS, in the presence of Tamil Nadu Weightlifting Association president Pon Robert Singh and secretary G. Rajakumar.