Indian weightlifters will be favourites at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham, UK when the action starts at the NEC Arena on Saturday. India’s campaign will be spearheaded by Olympic silver medalist Mirabai Chanu, who will compete in the 49kg category.
India have been dominant in weightlifting at the Commonwealth Games with 125 medals (43 gold, 48 silver and 34 bronze), and are only behind Australia, who have 159. At Gold Coast 2018, India finished on top with nine medals, including five gold.
Mirabai Chanu, who won gold in the last edition, had a six-month break post the Olympics in 2021. She returned to action at the Singapore International Weightlifting tournament earlier this year. The ace lifter from Manipur won gold in the 55kg category to qualify for Birmingham 2022.
The Indian Weightlifting Federation wanted to field Mirabai in the 55kg category, Bindyarani Devi in 59kg, Poppy Hazarika in 64kg, and Jhilli Dalabehera in 49kg to increase the chances of winning more medals in the women’s section. Watch live streaming in India.
But the entry was rejected as the new rule states that only the top-ranked lifter in her category is eligible to compete at the CWG. Devi has been India’s best in the 55kg bracket. All the lifters dropped back a weight class, and as a result, Jhilli missed the bus.
Mirabai's personal best in her category is 207kg (88kg snatch and 119kg clean and jerk) which is higher than Nigeria’s Stella Kingsley (168kg; 72kg and 96 kg), who is the second-best lifter in the event.
India’s 15-member squad has four medalists, including Mirabai Chanu, from Gold Coast. Vikas Thakur, Guru Raja and Punam Yadav will also flex their muscles on the barbell.
Youth Olympic 2018 champion Jeremy Lalrinnunga (67kg) will make his CWG debut and is a medal contender in the absence of Pakistan’s Talha Talib, a bronze-medallist at the world championships.
Junior World Championships 2021 silver medallist Achinta Seuli (73kg) will pose a threat to Malaysia's Erry Hidayat. Both have a personal best of 316kg (143kg & 173kg).
Commonwealth Games 2022: Indian weightlifting team
Men: Sanket Sargar (55kg), Guru Raja (61kg), Jeremy Lalrinnunga (67kg), Achinta Sheuli (73kg), Ajay Singh (81kg), Vikas Thakur (96kg), Lovepreet Singh (109kg), Gurdeep Singh (+109kg).
Women: Saikhom Mirabai Chanu (49kg), S Bindyarani Devi (55kg), Popy Hazarika (59kg), Harjinder Kaur (71kg), Punam Yadav (76kg), BN Usha (87kg), Purnima Pandey (+87kg).
Commonwealth Games 2022 weightlifting schedule and live India match times
Saturday, July 30
Men’s 55kg (Sanket Mahadev) and men’s 61kg (Gururaja) - 1:30 PM IST
Women’s 49kg (Mirabai Chanu) - 8:00 PM IST
Sunday, July 31
Women’s 55kg (Bindyarani Devi) - 12:30 AM IST
Men’s 67kg (Jeremy Lalrinnunga) - 2:00 PM IST
Women’s 59kg (Popy Hazarika) - 6:30 PM IST
Men’s 73kg (Achinta Sheuli) - 11:00 PM IST
Monday, August 1
Men’s 81kg (Ajay Singh) – 2.15 PM IST
Women’s 71kg (Harjinder Kaur) – 11.15 PM IST
Tuesday, August 2
Women's 76kg (Punam Yadav) - 2:15 PM IST
Men’s 96kg (Vikas Thakur) – 6.45 PM IST
Women's 87kg (Bannur Natesh Usha) - 11:15 PM IST
Wednesday, August 3
Men's 109kg (Lovepreet Singh) - 2:15 PM IST
Women's +8 kg (Purnima Pandey) - 6:45 PM IST
Men's +109kg (Gurdeep Singh) - 11:15 PM IST
Where to watch Commonwealth Games 2022 weightlifting live in India?
Select weightlifting events at the Commonwealth Games 2022 will be telecast live on Sony SIX, Sony TEN 1, Sony TEN 2, Sony TEN 3 and Sony TEN 4 TV channels in India. Live streaming will be available on SonyLIV.