Seven weight classes saw new records in all three categories.
Maharshi Dayanand University’s Komal Kohar set the bar fairly high for all to follow when she won the first gold of the Khelo India University Games 2021. Participating in the 45kg class weightlifting competition Kohar broke the record in all three categories (Snatch, Clean and Jerk, Combined) en route to gold. It was the perfect curtain-raiser for a three-day event, that saw 26 new KIUG records and one National record across the 20 weight categories.
If the first day set the tone, it was the final that served as a perfect end, the highlight coming from the +87kg for women, where Ann Mariya, broke the National Record in the Clean and Jerk. Her lift of 129kg, surpassed Manpreet Kaur’s record of 128kg, set at the National Championships earlier this year.
Ann Mariya, had broken the National combined record with a total lift of 231 kg at the National Weightlifting Championship in Bhubaneswar in March. On the back of her stunning lift, and a 101 kg Snatch, she won the Gold medal for Mangalore University.
“I had taken part in the Senior National before coming to KIUG 2021. After the Nationals, I was feeling a little down because I had injured my shoulder and I was unable to do much. I was not expecting myself to achieve this result today, but I am extremely proud of my efforts,” Ann Mariya said after her big win.
Ann, who started her sporting career in Powerlifting, was convinced to enter the arena of Weightlifting by her mother to reduce weight. But soon, she started enjoying the sport and began training intensely to get better at it.
“I started going to training every day and worked hard. Weightlifting is what I fell in love with and there is no other sport or job I would rather be doing. My mother was a Weightlifter in her prime but there was no support back then. I consider her and my father, who is a rickshaw puller, as my inspiration, as they support me in every way they can,” Ann added.
For the past three years, Ann has been training at SAI Center in Bangalore. Her coach explains why she has been able to make a mark over the past year.
Having broken two National Records in two months, Ann Mariya’s coach Meenakshi Sundareswaran said, “Her ratio between Snatch and Clean-and-Jerk is quite good. This is the prime time for her. Up to 25, it’s her peak time. She’s currently 23 now. Her next Championship is Asian Games and then she will go to compete at the Senior Championship.”
Coach Sundareswaran further explained their strategy at the KIUG 2021 and explained why Ann just missed out on surpassing her overall National Record lift.
“She is more than capable to break it, but it was intentional. We planned it so that she will win a gold medal, which we were sure she would when she achieved a 101kg Snatch lift,” she said.
Having explicit confidence in her student, Coach Sundareswaran further added that soon, Ann will be ready to compete against the top Weightlifters from all around the world. “It is possible that with a little pre-plan, Ann will be able to compete against her international rivals in her weight category and achieve glory for the country. She’s a very competitive athlete and big things will happen in her career,” she signed off.