Gold Coast: Weightlifter Sanjita Chanu (53kg) today claimed her second successive Commonwealth Games gold medal, smashing a Games record in the process, despite nursing a nagging back problem here.
The dimunutive Manipuri lifted a total of 192kg (84kg+108kg) to claim the gold ahead of Paupa New Guinea's Loa Dika Toua, who finished with 182kg (80kg+102kg) for a silver. The bronze medal went to Canada's Rachel-LeBlanc-Bazinet (81kg+100kg).
"Although I had done better in the Commonwealth Championships but still I am ok with what I managed today," Chanu, an employee of the Indian Railways, said after her triumph.
The Indian broke down when she was presented her medal, the performance pressure of the last few months finally releasing at the podium.
"A lot of people said that probably I wasn't good enough for a medal.
My back injury that I picked up at the World Championships last year is still not fully healed. I am probably at 90 per cent right now," said the soft-spoken youngster.
"Our physios are not allowed to be with us in the competition area due to accreditation issues. I broke down at the medal ceremony thinking about all that. It all just came crashing down, the pressure of the past few months," she added.
Sanjita had won a 48kg category gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
"I am quite happy with the achievement that I claimed two gold medals," she said.
The record she broke today was also in the name of an Indian, Swarti Singh, who lifted 83kg in snatch at Glasgow Games.
Sanjita had earlier claimed the gold with a total effort of 195kg (85kg+110kg) in the Commonwealth Championships last year.
Indian weightlifters have claimed two gold and a silver thus far in this edition of the Games.
Yesterday, Mirabai Chanu (48kg) had smashed three Games records en route her gold medal after P Gururaja opened the medal account with a silver in the men's 56kg category. PTI
“Sad I couldn't break all Games records”
Sanjita Chanu was disappointed about not breaking a Commonwealth Games record despite the fact that she was not even 100 per cent fit.
The 24-year-old Manipuri claimed the 53kg category gold today after breaking the Games record in snatch- her total was 192kg (84kg+108). But the ambitious athlete in her was a shade "sad" that she could not break the record in clean and jerk.
"Had I not dropped my last lift, I would have created a Games record.
I really wanted to do it. I missed it and I am a bit sad about that. But I guess it's ok, I don't know," said the reigning Commonwealth Championships gold-medallist.
The Indian was attempting a lift of 113kg in her final chance in clean and jerk but could not pull it off.
"I had come thinking of breaking the record and lift 112kg (the CWG record stands at 111kg), I thought it was not that difficult. Probably god was not with me today.
"I became a little stiff during my clean lift and I probably didn't push too well in jerk," she reasoned.
The gold in 53kg came after a top finish in the 48kg category during the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
The effort is laudable given that Sanjita has been battling a back problem ever since the World Championships last year, where she injured herself just five days before the competition.
"Because of this injury I still cannot train too hard. I have been lucky to get good support which has kept me motivated," said the lifter.
"My back injury was a concern before coming here too, I have barely trained for 15 days for this competition. I am still 10 per cent lacking in fitness. The physio has been working on me outside the competition arena," she said.
The disheartening aspect of the situation is that Indian weightlifters do not have access to their physio in the competition area owing to lack of accreditations. Sanjita, however, chose to play down the situation.
"They (the physios) have helped as best as they can. We have managed somehow," she said.
The 24-year-old broke down during the medal ceremony.
"It was months of pressure finally coming down. I am glad I could prove those wrong who were saying that I had no chance of a medal just because I came second in the Nationals," she said.