Birmingham, Aug 5: Indian para-powerlifter Sudhir Singh came up with a brilliant effort to claim the gold medal in the men's heavyweight division at the Commonwealth Games here, claiming the country's first medal in powerlifting in Birmingham 2022.
Sudhir, who is ranked third in the world in World Para Powerlifting's Official World Rankings for 2022 with the best lift of 214kg, came up with a top lift of 212kg to win the gold medal with a Commonwealth Games record.
This was India's first medal in the para-sports in Birmingham 2022 and the country's eighth gold medal and 22nd overall. India has a tally of 8 gold, seven silver, and seven bronze.
Sudhir started with a lift of 208kg and then improved it to 212kg for a Games Record. The 27-year-old attempted to improve his season's best of 214kg by attempting to lift 217 on Thursday evening but could not successfully complete the lift. Thus, Sudhir Singh had to settle for the best lift of 212, which fetched him 134.5 points and the gold medal. He improved on the record for points with his tally of 134.5 points.
Nigeria's Christian Kechukwu Obichukwu took the silver medal with a best lift of 197kg which fetched him 130.8 points considering his lower body weight than his Indian opponent in the up to 88kg weight division.
Scotland's Micky Yule took the bronze medal with a best lift of 192kg and 130.9 points.
It was a weak competition as only Sudhir managed to cross the 200kg mark in an event in which Abdelkareem Mohmmad Ahmad Khattab of Jordan holds the world record of 250kg.
However, Sudhir came up with the best effort in the Games and thus got the Commonwealth Games record.
"I absolutely thought I would win gold. My preparation was very good and I thank Birmingham for this. Preparation was good, the weather was good, and the crowd was great -- fantastic," Sudhir said after claiming the gold medal.
Sudhir said his immediate target was a big celebration in London with lots of shopping. But then he wants to prepare and go for gold in the Asian Para Games next year and eventually the Paralympic Games in Paris in 2023.
"Next for me is a celebration: I'm going to London to enjoy some shopping and see the city.
"My next target is the Asian Games, and then the Paris Olympics (in 2024)," said the Indian para-powerlifter.