Ajay Singh (81 kg), an Indian weightlifter competing in his first Commonwealth Games, just missed winning the bronze medal in Birmingham on Monday due to a poor snatch total and a botched clean and jerk lift. The 25-year-old finished fourth in the men’s 81kg competition with a combined effort of 319kg (143kg+176kg). To the crowd’s utter delight, home favorite Chris Murray of England, who weighed 325 kg (144 kg + 183 kg), triumphed in the gold medal event sensationally by shattering the Games’ record for total lift.
Kyle Bruce of Australia, 323 kg (143 + 180 kg), won silver, while Nicholas Vachon of Canada, 320 kg (140 + 180 kg), took third.
Singh’s competition got off to a shaky start as he initially found it difficult to maintain equilibrium during his opening snatch lift. One of the judges gave the Indian a red light when he stopped just short of the finish line, but the 137 kg lift was ultimately approved.
He lifted 143 kg, four kilograms fewer than his previous record and personal best, before lifting 140 kilograms.
He subsequently heaved 140 kilos and then 143 kg, four kilograms fewer than his personal best and the national record, to finish the snatch phase in equal second place with Bruce.
Singh started the clean and jerk with a 172 kg lift and then added four kg to the barbells for a 176 kg lift, which needed a lot of work from him to complete.
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Singh, Bruce, Murray, and Vachon competed for the top place in a four-way race.
Singh ultimately lost out on a podium finish due to a poor snatch total and a failed 180-kg effort in the clean and jerk.