CWG 2022: Weightlifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga wins gold as Women’s Fours team sets itself for lawn bowls history

Birmingham, July 31 (IANS) Young weightlifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga came up with a courageous display to grab the gold in Men’s 67kg division despite being hampered by injuries to his back and elbow while the women’s fours put the country in contention for a medal in the little-known sport of lawn bowls by reaching the semifinals as India had another successful day at the 2022 Commonwealth Games here on Sunday.
The men’s table tennis team stormed into the semis as it defends the title it won four years ago while women’s reigning World Champion pugilist Nikhat Zareen launched her campaign with an impressive win and the women’s cricket team recovered from their opening match defeat to favourites Australia by thrashing neighbours Pakistan at Edgebaston ground on the third day of competitions,
The men’s hockey team started its campaign for the elusive gold with a thumping 11-0 victory against minnows Ghana before they face a strong England squad on Monday while cyclist Ronaldo Laitonjam qualified for the Men’s Sprint quarterfinals where he lost to Australia’s Matthew Glaetzer.
There were some setbacks too as the seasoned boxer Shiva Thapa crashed out in the pre-quarterfinals while woman weightlifter Popy Hazarika finished seventh in the women’s 59 kg division.
But the day belonged to the 19-year-old weightlifter Lalrinnunga, who bagged India’s sole medal of the day — a gold in the men’s 67kg and the women’s four in lawn bowls as it set itself for a maiden medal by reaching the semifinals.
Lalrinnunga won the gold medal with a total of 300, after lifting 140 in snatch and 160 in clean and jerk. Samoa’s Vaipava Nevo Ioane took silver with a total of 293 kg and a Games Record in clean and jerk after lifting 166kg. Nigeria’s Edidiong Joseph Umoafia bagged the bronze medal with a total of 290kilos.
Lalrinnunga completed his last two lifts in clean and jerk and fell down on the mat on both occasions, clutching his back and thighs after the second, and wrist and elbow after the third. He had an advantage of 10 kilos on Nigeria’s Edidiong Joseph Umoafia (130) and a further three kilos on Samoa’s Vaipava Nevo Ioane in snatch.
Despite his discomfort, Lalrinnunga, egged on by vociferous Indian supporters, attempted to further increase the gap by attempting to lift 149 kg on his third and final snatch turn but failed. If he had managed a successful lift, he would have had a bigger advantage over his close rivals and could have taken things a bit easier in clean and jerk He had to be satisfied with 140 in the snatch — setting two Games records in the process.
The women’s lawn bowls team of Lovely Choubey, Pinki, Nayanmoni Saikia and Rupa Rani Tirkey set themselves for a historic tilt at a medal when it defeated Norfolk Island 17-9 in the Women’s Four quarterfinals and set up a semifinal clash against a strong New Zealand side, who edged out Botswana 17-13 in another quarterfinal. If they beat New Zealand on Monday, the team will take on the winner of the second semifinal between Fiji and South Africa or face the loser of the match in the bronze medal playoff.
Boxer Nikhat Zareen started her campaign with a dominant and authoritative win against a lower-ranked opponent when the referee stopped the contest in the third round of their light flyweight bout after administering Helena Ismael Bagao a second standing count.
Shiva Thapa, however, ran into a strong opponent in Reese Lynch and crashed out in the men’s welterweight division, losing on points after winning the first period of the bout to miss out on a medal in the Commonwealth Games once again.

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