CWG 2022: Lovepreet Singh wins bronze in men's 109kg weightlifting

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Lovepreet Singh became the ninth Indian weightlifter to medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, winning bronze in the men's 109kg division. He lifted 355kg (Snatch - 163kg, Clean & Jerk - 192kg), finishing below Jack Hitila Opeloge of Samoa (silver, 358kg) and Junior Periclex Ngadja Nyabeyeu of Cameroon (gold, 361kg)

India's weightlifting contingent have earned three gold, three silver and three bronze medals so far.

Loverpreet began his snatch event with a lift of 157kg, which was enough for the lead, but was soon overtaken by Jack Hitila Opeloge of Samoa. The Indian went clear with lifts of 161kg and 163kg, accompanied with a celebratory thigh-slap, in his final attempt - which was his personal best. but was equaled by Pierre-Alexandre Bessette of Canada. However, Opeloge finished atop the standings at the end of the snatch section with a lift of 164kg in his third and final attempt.

In the clean & jerk section, Lovepreet began with an impressive 185kg in his first attempt, but Bessette bettered it with his final lift. Andy Griffiths also went ahead with a 187kg lift, but Lovepreet responded with a lift of 189kg, appearing fairly comfortable while doing so in contrast to his opponents. Coincidentally it happened to be the National Record. With an eye on the medals, Lovepreet raised his final weight to 192kg and after a smooth clean, paused a bit before his jerk, finally lifting it for a successful lift. Opeloge started his C&J with a successful lift of 194kg to go top, which was followed by Nyabeyeu lifting 196kg to overtake Lovepreet.

Opeloge and Nyabeyeu battled it out for the gold, with the Cameroonian coming out on top. There was some consternation after Jason George Roberts-Young lifted 202kg in his second attempt, after which he tried an incredible 211kg in his final attempt, which would have earned bronze, but was unable to do so.

Lovepreet Singh first came to international spotlight as a 19-yr-old in the 2017 Asian Youth Championships, where he lifted 331 kg (Snatch - 151kg, Clean & Jerk - 180kg) to win bronze in the 105kg division. He followed that up soon after with gold in the Junior Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships, lifting 325kg (Snatch - 150kg, Clean & Jerk - 175kg) in the 105kg category.

A naval officer, Lovepreet qualified for the 2022 Commonwealth Games with silver in the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships held in December of last year. He lifted a total of 348kg (Snatch 161kg + 187kg), but his silver winning effort was only good enough for twelfth in the overall Worlds standings.