WFI blames it on Punam, claims lifter competed with injury


Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) president Sahdev Yadav on Tuesday claimed that Punam Yadav competed despite ”not being fully fit”, lashing out at the lifter after her disastrous outing at the Commonwealth Games here. Punam was disqualified in the women’s 76kg category after failing in all her three clean and jerk attempts. The reigning CWG champion in 69kg category, however, was in a silver medal winning position after snatch, where she lifted 98kg in her third attempt. Clearly disappointed with her show, the national federation chief said that the lifter competed with an injury to her knee. ”Ek medal haath se chhut gayi — clearly she dropped one medal from the weightlifting arena,” Yadav told PTI. ”That’s why initially we had held back her name. But the athlete claimed she was fit and showed a fitness certificate issued by a doctor. There’s no way we could withhold her name as she joined the team late.

”If you notice her lifts closely, she was not giving her best force while lifting the barbell from clean to jerk. The knee has to bend to get that full force. ”But in her case, it was missing. It’s clear that she’s not 100 per cent and we lost out on a medal,” Yadav claimed. Asked to clarify, a teary-eyed Punam said she was fully fit. ”Haanji, haanji — bilkul fit thi (Of course, I was fully fit). Niggles are part and parcel of a lifter’s life and I was on course. It happens, my sheer bad luck,” she said. Targetting a third CWG medal, the 27-year-old was in the second spot after lifting 98kg in her second attempt in the snatch. Having failed to lift 116kg in the first two attempts of clean and jerk, the Varanasi lifter finally had a clean lift but dropped it before the three judges gave the green signal. ‘Usne smile kiya and main throw kar diya (One of the judges smiled and I dropped it without seeing the light),” Punam, who won a gold at Gold Coast 2018 in the 69kg category, said after her lift was recorded as ”zero” by the three judges. India have so far won seven medals — including three gold — out of 10 weight categories. The country leads the weightlifting medal standings ahead of Canada (2-1-4) on the gold medal count.