Lifters Gyaneshwari, Rithika on podium at Jr World C’ships
NEW DELHI: Gyaneshwari Yadav clinched the silver medal while compatriot V Rithika finished third to give India a double podium finish in the women’s 49kg category at the IWF Junior World Weightlifting Championships in Heraklion, Greece. Chattisgarh lifter Gyaneshwari produced a total effort of 156kg (73kg+83kg) to take home the silver metal on Monday night.
The 18-year-old Rithika, on the other hand, heaved 6 kgs less than her compatriot — 150kg (69kg+81kg) to bag the bronze medal in a depleted 10-lifter field. Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist and strong favourite Windy Cantika Aisah of Indonesia was crowned the champion in the category thanks to her total effort of 185kg (83kg+102kg).
The gulf between the Indonesian lifter, who won the Asian and world junior titles last year, and the 19-year-old Gyaneshwari was a whopping 29kg with Aisah even declined to take her final attempt.
The field was missing lifters from powerhouses China, North Korea and Thailand. The junior world record for the category sits at 206kg (92kg+114kg) in China’s Jiang Huihua’s name. It is the same weight division in which Mirabai Chanu won a silver at the Tokyo Olympics, with an effort off 202kg (87kg+115kg).
Chanu holds the senior clean and jerk world record in the category. She had lifted 119 kg at the Asian Championships last year to achieve the feat. The snatch (96kg) and total weight lifted (213kg) records are in Tokyo Olympics gold medallist Hou Zhihui’s name. The podium finishes take India’s medal haul to three in the ongoing event.
Earlier on Monday, Harshada Sharad Garud became the country’s first weightlifter to win a gold medal at the world event. Athletes from Russia and Belarus are banned from competing in IWF events. Russia had won the most medals (9) in the last edition. Countries like China, Romania and Bulgaria among others are giving the tournament a miss for a variety of reasons.