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India’s para-powerlifter Sudhir created history by winning gold at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. He has become the first Indian athlete to win a gold medal for India in para-powerlifting (weightlifting for disabled athletes) at the Commonwealth Games. Earlier in 2014, powerlifter Sakina Khatoon had won the bronze medal. Sudhir won the gold medal in the men’s heavyweight category by lifting 212 kg. Sudhir, weighing 87.30 kg, lifted 208 kg in the first attempt with a rack height of 14. At the same time, in the second attempt, he lifted a weight of 212 kg. Sudhir also set a new Games record with a lift of 212 kg. In his last attempt, Sudhir failed to lift 217 kg. Sudhir topped with 134.5 points and won the gold medal.
This is the sixth gold medal for India at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. Earlier, Mirabai Chanu, Jeremy Lalnirunga and Achinta Sheuly have won gold in weightlifting. At the same time, the women’s lawn ball team and the men’s table tennis team also won gold medals. This was the overall 20th medal for India. These include six gold, seven silver and seven bronze medals. India is at the seventh position in the medal tally.
The 27-year-old Sudhir opened the Para Games medals account for India at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games with a gold medal. In the men’s heavyweight category, Sudhir was followed by Nigeria’s Ikechuku Christian Obichuku with 133.6 points, while Scotland’s Mickey Yule took the bronze with 130.9 points.
Sudhir had earlier won a bronze medal in the men’s 88kg category with a best lift of 214kg at the World Para Powerlifting Asia-Oceania Open Championships in South Korea in June this year. Sudhir has also qualified for the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Para Games.
Sudhir (with gold medal in the middle)
Athletes are given three attempts in powerlifting. For lifting weights, points are given according to body weight and technique. For lifting the same weight, the physically underweight player gets more points than the other. Sudhir became a victim of polio at the age of five. After this, in 2013, he started powerlifting in Sonepat to keep himself fit.
Khushi Sudhir (right) and his coach after winning the gold
On Thursday itself, India was disappointed in other events of Para Powerlifting. In the women’s lightweight final, Manpreet Kaur finished fourth and Sakina Khatoon finished fifth. Apart from this, Paramjeet Kumar finished last in the men’s lightweight final.