Competing in his debut World Championships, reigning national champion Narayan Ajith put up an underwhelming display to sign off in fifth spot in Group C of the men’s 73kg event here on Saturday.
The Commonwealth Championships gold medallist, who was unceremoniously dumped from the Asian Games squad last month as he didn’t meet the Sports Ministry’s selection criteria, hoisted 140kg in snatch and 172kg in the clean and jerk section for a total effort of 312kg.
It wasn’t close to Ajith’s target of 320kg but was better than his effort of 307kg (139kg+168kg) at the Asian Championships in May and 308kg (138kg+170kg) at the Commonwealth Championships in July and will boost his ranking.
Weeraphon Wichuma of Thailand topped the Group with a total effort of 349kg (154kg+1195kg). The final standings will be tabulated after the completion of Group A proceedings.
Competing in an Olympic weight class, the Tamil Nadu lifter’s campaign wasn’t off to the best of starts as he fluffed his opening lift of 136kg in snatch. However, the debutant got over his nerves to pull off five flawless lifts.
On Friday, Ajith’s compatriot Commonwealth Games champion Achinta Sheuli had lifted 285kg (130kg+155kg) in Group D to finish a disappointing eighth.
Lifters are assigned groups based on their entry. The lifters with the highest entry weights are placed in Group A, followed by B and so on.
The 2023 World Championships and the 2024 World Cup are compulsory events for the Paris Games, under the 2024 Olympic qualification rule.
Apart from these two tournaments, a lifter also has to participate in three of the following events -- the 2022 World Championships, the 2023 Continental Championships, the 2023 Grand Prix 1, the 2023 Grand Prix II and the 2024 Continental Championships.
The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) will publish the Olympic Qualification Rating (OQR) of each weight category at the end of the qualification period.
A weightlifter’s best three performances at the qualifying events will be taken into account for final assessment.
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