Birmingham: Indian weightlifter Harjinder Kaur bagged the bronze medal in the women’s 71kg competition after a dramatic climax at the Commonwealth Games on Monday. Luck was on Harjinder’s side as she was assured of a podium finish after Nigeria’s gold medal favourite Joy Eze was knocked out following three failed attempts in the clean and jerk category.
England’s Sarah Davies won the gold medal with a total of 229 kgs, while Canada’s Alexis Ashworth bagged the silver with 214. Harjinder totalled 212 (93 in snatch and 119 in clean and jerk). On her way to the gold medal, Davies also broke the Commonwealth and Commonwealth Games record.
To start with, Harjinder failed to lift 90kg snatch in her first attempt. Under pressure, the Indian bounced back and lifted 90kg snatch on her second attempt, a personal best. Harjinder, then, lifted 93kg snatch in her third attempt to stay in contention for a podium finish. Heading into the clean and jerk round, Harjinder was in for a close fight with Australia’s Kiana Elliot for bronze. A silver medallist at last year’s Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships, the Indian started the clean and jerk round with 113kg, went for 116 kg in the next attempt, and lifted 119kg on her third attempt.