Gururaja Poojary won India’s second medal at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham by claiming bronze in the men’s 61kg weightlifting with a total lift of 269kg (118+151) on Day 2 at the Games on Saturday.
Gururaja was competing with Canada’s Youri Simard. But the Indian weightlifter produced a personal best of 151kg in clean and jerk to finish with 269kgs, one kilo more than Simard to secure India’s 2nd medal on Saturday.
Gururaja, who was India’s first medalist at the Gold Coast Games in 2018, began with an explosive clean lift of 115kg without any trouble and went to the top. With Youri Simard of Canada and Morea Baru of PNG catching up, Poojary added 3 more kgs in his second attempt, making it a 118kg lift which he also managed with ease. However, in his third snatch attempt, which was of 120 kgs, Poojary fumbled, and at the end of the round was placed fourth with Aznil Bidin leading, followed by Morea Baru and Canada’s Youri Simard.
Ahead of the competition, Gururaja revealed that he left home just one month after the marriage to join the national camp for Asian and CWG.
“It was a love-cum-arrange marriage. She is from my village and once our families agreed, we got married in May last year. I left home next month to prepare for nationals. I haven’t met her since then, as after the nationals, I was training at the national camp for the Asian and Commonwealth Games,” Gururaja told the New Indian Express from Birmingham.
Earlier, Sanket Sargar opened the country’s medal tally at the Commonwealth Games by claiming a silver medal in the men’s 55kg category. Star weightlifter Mirabai Chanu will also be seen in action on the second day of the Commonwealth Games, as India looks for more success. Chanu, the Tokyo Olympics silver medallist, will not only look to defend her CWG title but also add a third medal at the Games.