Two young men — Satish Kumar Sivalingam and R. Venkat Rahul — gave India a double, winning the men’s 77kg and 85kg weightlifting titles at the XXI Commonwealth Games at the Carrara Sports Arena 1 here on 07 April 2018. The two medals took the country’s gold count to four and a total of six, with the silver and bronze won P. Gururaj (56kg) and Deepak Lather (69kg) besides the gold that Mirabai Chanu and Sanjita Chanu won over the last two days.
Labelled a heavyweight in the sport, the expectations were high as the third day’s events began. Satish and Venkat shaped up nicely to finish on the top of the podium. The only disappointment was Vandna Gupta (women’s 63kg), who finished fifth. In the men’s 77kg category, Satish faced a few problems before stamping his class. The 25-year-old from Vellore, Tamil Nadu, had suffered an injury a couple of months ago and with doubts persisting about a possible recurrence, his preparations were low key.
It was understandable that Satish was unable to improve on his gold-winning performance (total of 328) at Glasgow 2014, even as he dedicated the medal to this parents. Venkat, 21, was tied with Don Opeloge of Samoa at 151kg after the first stage (snatch) of the competition, but as Opeloge faltered in clean and jerk, it made things easier for the lifter from Stuartpuram, Andhra Pradesh. Venkat, who started with 147 in snatch, could only manage an improvement of four kilograms as he failed in his second attempt.