Indian Weightlifter P Gururaja made the whole country proud today as he opened India’s medal account on the first day of competition at the 21st Commonwealth Games by claiming a silver medal in the men’s 56kg category held in Gold Coast on Thursday.
28 year old P Gururaja also equalled his own personal best of 249kg which is 111+138 to finish second place in a field when Malaysia’s three-time Commonwealth Championship medallist named Muhammad Azroy Hazalwafie Izhar Ahmed (117+144) broke the Games record in snatch and overall lift setting two games record also.
Gururaja was third after snatch lifting his best weight of 111kg after two good lifts before flirting with a few nervy moments in clean and jerk. The Indian weightlifter Gururaja failed in his first two attempts before he managed to do a good lift off his last chance to jump to the top half of the table.
Malaysian weightlifter Izhar Ahmed however bettered weightlifter compatriot Hamizan Amirul Ibrahim’s snatch record of 116kg which was created in the year 2010 at Delhi Commonwealth Games. He then also went on to break the overall Games record that was also in the name of Ibrahim.
The third position was clinched by Sri Lanka’s weightlifter Lakmal Chaturanga (114+134).
P Gururaja is a low-ranking Indian Air Force employee is a perfect example of quintessential Indian sports story filled with immense hardships and struggles with just a tiny bit of luck. Gururaja began weightlifting in the year 2010. He has also won a bronze medal in Australia in the year 2017.
Gururaja is the son of a pickup truck driver and hails from Kundapura in coastal Karnataka who always aspired to be a wrestler before he was pushed into weightlifting by a watchful and super coach who saw the potential in him to become a very successful weightlifter.