Lovepreet Singh delivered India’s ninth weightlifting podium finish at the Commonwealth Games 2022 after winning a bronze medal in the men’s 109kg event on Wednesday.
It was India’s second-ever medal in an over-100kg weightlifting category at the CWG after Pardeep Singh’s silver in the 105kg at Gold Coast 2018.
Punjab-based Lovepreet Singh, a former junior Asian bronze medal winner, bettered his own national record in the division with a total lift of 355kg (snatch – 163kg; clean and jerk – 192kg) at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Solihull to medal at Birmingham 2022.
Cameroon’s Junior Periclex Ngadja Nyabeyeu won the gold medal with a lift of 361kg (160kg+201kg) while Samoa’s Jack Opeloge bagged silver with 358kg (164kg+194kg).
Lovepreet Singh, who is a petty officer with the Indian Navy, hit his weights with all three of his attempts in snatch, logging 157kg, 161kg and 163kg, respectively, and was joint-second alongside Canada’s Pierre-Alexandre Bessette heading into the clean and jerk.
Opeloge led the 11-man field, but only by a kilogram.
In the clean and jerk section, Lovepreet Singh was again successful with all of his three attempts, hoisting 185kg, 189kg and 192kg. With it, he took his total tally to 355kg, bettering his own previous national record of 350kg.
However, with Opeloge and Nyabeyeu both registering monster lifts with their respective clean and jerk attempts, the Indian Navy man had to settle for a bronze medal.
Australia’s Jackson George Roberts-Young threatened to push Lovepreet Singh out of a medal position with a massive 211kg attempt with his final attempt but failed with his jerk after executing the clean portion of the lift.
"The Birmingham crowd was excellent today. Without the crowd celebrations after my lifts I would not have been able to set my new national record of 192kg in my final attempt," said Lovepreet Singh.
Purnima Pandey finishes sixth in women’s +87kg
In the women’s 87+kg, though, India’s Purnima Pandey fell short of a medal position and finished sixth overall with a total lift of 228kg (snatch – 103kg; clean and jerk – 125kg).
In the snatch, England’s Emily Cambell, the Tokyo 2020 silver medallist, and Samoa’s Feagaiga Stowers emerged as runaway leaders with best lifts of 124kg and 121kg, respectively.
Purnima Yadav, a Commonwealth Championships gold medalist from 2017, managed to keep herself in the hunt for a bronze medal, logging 103kg with her only valid snatch lift in her second attempt.
In the clean and jerk, Purnima’s sole successful attempt was 125kg, which knocked her out of medal contention early.
Emily Cambell, with a total lift of 286kg (124kg+ 162kg), won the gold after finishing above Stowers, who managed 268kg (121kg+147kg). Australia’s Charisma Amoe Tarrant clinched bronze with 239kg (100kg+139kg).