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Commonwealth Games

Mirabai Chanu clinches India's first gold at Commonwealth Games

Published at :July 31, 2022 at 4:17 AM
Modified at :January 12, 2023 at 9:54 AM
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Joseph Biswas

She also shattered the Games' record with her combined 201kgs lift.

On top of the world and by a fair margin, Mirabai Chanu created history in the women’s 49kg final with a combined lift of 201kgs. The next best effort was Marie Ranaivosoa from Mauritius with 172kgs. 

A raging battle for the remaining medals was won by Canada’s Hannah Kaminski, who won an emotional bronze with an outstanding clean and jerk round. Nigeria’s Kingsley Petar saw her 98kgs lift & jerk attempt chalked off.

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When the start list was announced, Mirabai laid down the gauntlet by selecting her listed first weights as 80kgs in the snatch and 105kgs in the clean and jerk, a combined 25kgs more than Ranaivosoa.

Four years ago in Gold Coast, Mirabai was unstoppable. Tonight, she rewrote the record books with her greatness. The best lift before she walked out was 76kgs, but Mirabai nailed an 84kgs lift in her very first attempt with elegance and grace. She then asked for 88kgs and made no mistakes whatsoever technique-wise. The sizeable Indian following in the stands roared their approval as Mirabai aimed to break the 90kgs barrier. 

This was only the second time Mirabai lifted 88kgs in the second snatch lift, last time being the 2020 Nationals. She was already levels above the rest, in a different competition. Mirabai had just lifted 1.79 times her bodyweight, setting the Commonwealth Games record. She had attempted 89kgs in the Tokyo Olympics. 

The entirety of the National Exhibition Centre watched with bated breath as Mirabai attempted to lift 90 kilograms. She tried her best but could not breach the barrier. She thanked the crowd for the positive reception, looked at the bar as if to say, “Next time” and prepared for the clean and jerk. 

Mirabai began the second round with 109 kilograms, guaranteeing gold in the very first lift. Her mastery in shifting the bar overhead after maintaining her balance after the clean put her levels above the competition. She holds the clean and jerk record with 119 kgs. 

Next she opted for 113 kgs in the second round and aced it as well, cementing her legacy as one of the greatest female lifters in her weight class. She then attempted 115 kgs in her final attempt but lost her footing in the end. Mirabai finished with a total of 201 kgs, a whopping 29kgs clear of her nearest rival. She set both Snatch and Clean & Jerk Commonwealth Games Records, a truly memorable performance. 

With this display, Mirabai Chanu has stated her preparedness for the Paris Olympics. The next step will be to lift 90kgs in a snatch but with this form, nothing is beyond her grasp. 

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