Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) president Sahdev Yadav on Tuesday lambasted the weightlifter after her disastrous performance at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, claiming that Poonam Yadav competed despite being “not fully fit”. Poonam was disqualified in the women’s 76kg category after failing in all three of her clean and jerk attempts. The current CWG champion in the 69kg category, however, was in a position to win a silver medal after the snatch, where she lifted 98kg in her third attempt.
Clearly disappointed with his show, the head of the national federation said the weightlifter competed with a knee injury.
“He missed a medal – apparently he dropped a medal from the weightlifting zone,” Yadav told PTI.
“That’s why initially we had withdrawn his name. But the athlete claimed that he was fit and showed a fitness certificate issued by a doctor. There is no way we can take his name back as he was late in the team. Had happened.
“If you look closely at her lifts, she wasn’t putting out her best force when lifting the barbell from clean to jerk. The knee has to be bent to get that full force.
“But in his case, it was missing. It is clear that he is not 100 per cent and we lost by a medal,” Yadav claimed.
When asked to clarify, the tearful Poonam said that she is completely fit.
“Hanji, hanji – bilkul fit thi (Of course, I was fit perfectly. Niggles are part and parcel of a lifter’s life and I certainly was. It happens, my bad luck,” she said.
With a target of a third Commonwealth Games medal, the 27-year-old was second in the snatch by lifting 98kg in her second attempt.
After failing to lift 116kg in his first two clean and jerk attempts, the Varanasi-based lifter finally achieved a clean lift, but dropped it before the three judges could clear it.
Poonam, who won a gold medal in the 69kg category at Gold Coast 2018, said, “She smiled and I threw (one of the judges smiled and I dropped it without seeing the light)” referring to her lift as “zero”. Said after registering. “By three judges.
India has so far won seven medals, including three gold, in 10 weight categories. The country leads the weightlifting medal standings ahead of Canada (2–1–4) in the gold medal count.
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