Maharashtra’s Sanket Sargar scripted history on Saturday, July 30 by becoming the first athlete from India to win a medal at Commonwealth Games 2022. The 21-year-old won the silver medal in the men’s 55kg weightlifting event in Birmingham.
Sanket Sargar won a silver medal in the men’s 55kg event with a total of 248kg (113kg in snatch, 135 in clean and jerk) to finish behind Malaysia’s Aniq Mohamad, who took gold with a total of 249 kg (107kg in snatch, 142kg in clean and jerk).
It was a thrilling finish to the final as Aniq Mohamad needed a Commonwealth record of 142kg in clean and jerk to win the gold.
Sanket Sargar picked up an elbow injury when he tried to lift 139kg in his second clean and jerk attempt. He pushed on for a final attempt, braving the injury he suffered. However, Sargar was not able to lift 139 and finished with the silver medal. Sri Lanka’s Dilanka Yodage won the bronze medal with a total of 225kg.
Screengrab from CWG 2022 website
National champion Sanket Sargar, who was Khelo India Youth Games and the Khelo India University Games in 2020, was one of the favourites to win India a medal in weightlifting, which has been one of the major suppliers of medals at Commonwealth Games over the years.
The Indian weightlifter lived up to the expectations by coming up with some calm and composed lifts in the snatch and clean and jerk categories in the men’s 55kg final.
SARGAR TOPS SNATCH ROUND
Sanket Sagar, who set a new Commonwealth and national record at the Asian qualifiers in Singapore in February 2022 (snatch – 113kg; clean and jerk 143kg – total of 256kg), was at his best as he cleared all his 3 weights in his first attempt in snatch.
Sargar started with a lift of 107kg but the fancied rival, Malaysia’s Aniq Mohamad matched the Indian’s feat with 107kg with his first attempt.
However, Sargar stretched his lead with a successful lift of 111kg in his second attempt in snatch. Sri Lanka’s Dilanka Yogade began with 105kg but he fell behind as Indo-Malaysian rivalry sent the Birmingham crowd into a frenzy.
Aniq Mohamad, however, failed to lift 111kg despite taking two attempts. On the other hand, Sargar took his lead to 6kg, lifting 113kg in his final attempt in snatch.
WHO IS SANKET SARGAR?
Sanket Sargar, who took up wrestling when he was 13-year-old, has been finishing on the podium at major international events, including the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships 2021 in Tashkent, helps his father, who owns a pan shop and a food stall in Sangli, Maharashtra.
Sargar, who is one of the favourite students of acclaimed weightlifting coach Vijay Sharma, had arrived in Birmingham a month in advance as the Indian government had arranged a preparatory camp for the weightlifters in the host city to get used to the conditions.
Sargar, who is now a Commonwealth Games champion, has set his sights on making sure his father doesn’t work as hard as he has been to keep their family afloat. The young man, who has made a mark at the international level, will be keen on making it to Paris Olympics and furthering his newfound reputation as one of the best weightlifters in the country.
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