Sri Lankan weightlifting team excelled at the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championship by clinching one gold and five bronze medals. The ten day competition concluded yesterday) in Uzbekistan in which 20 Sri Lankan weight lifters (10 men and 10 women ) took part.
The Commonwealth Championships is the most important qualifying event for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, which was earlier scheduled to be held in Singapore in October but was moved to Uzbekistan due to COVID-19 issues.
The competition started with Sri Lanka’s women’s weight lifter Srimali Samarakoon winning the gold medal of the under 45kg weight class. This was the first medal for Sri Lanka team at this championship. The 22-year-old Srimali lifted 136kg in total to take gold. With her performance she has directly qualified for the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games and it was a great achievement for this young weightlifter. Srimali an old girl of Habarana Central College who did her higher studies at Mahamaya Girls College Kandy and qualified to enter the University of Sri Jayawardenapura is one of the best promising weightlifters of the National team. She also holds the present Sri Lanka Weightlifting Record total of 140 Kgs. in 48 Kg. category.
Meanwhile Indika Dissanayake the Commonwealth Games silver medalist once again performed well at this meet when he took the bronze medal in the73kg category. Dissanayake the captain of the Sri Lanka team had tough competition at this 73 kg category lifted 286 kg to secure bronze medal. He was able to lift 130 kg from snatch method while 156 kg from clean and jerk method. Achinta Sheuli from India and Erry Hidayat from Malaysia were placed first and second to win gold and silver medals in this category.
At the 67kg category Sri Lanka’s Manoj Wijesinghe won the bronze medal lifting total 264 kg Lalrinnunga Jeremy of India the current Youth World Record holder won the gold medal with total a 305 kg and silver medal was won by Nigerian Joseph Umoafia with 295 kg.
Sri Lanka’s 28 year old Thilanka Palagasinghe secured a bronze at the 61kg and he successfully lifted 145 kg in clean and jerk and 116 kg in the snatch for a total of 261 kg. Aznil Bin Bidin Muhamad (MAS) clinched the Gold medal with a total of 273kg, and therefore, directly qualified for next year’s Commonwealth Games. Gururaja (IND) won Silver with 265kg.
Meanwhile two more bronze medals won by Sri Lankan most experienced weight lifter Chinatana Geethal Vidhanange and Nadishani Rajapaksa.
Vidhanage competed at 81kg category lifted 134 kg from snatch method while 166kg from clean and jerk method to complete 300kg ensured his bronze this time.
Vidhanage the 39 year old veteran haild from Polonnnaruwa earlier won gold medal at 62kg class in 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne 2006 while he bagged silver medal from 69 kg class in 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.
In addition Nadishani Rajapaksa secured her gold medal at this Commonwealth Championships in the 61kg category. She was able to lift 165 kg( 74kg from snatch, 91kg from clean and jerk ) to win the bronze.