Weightlifter Sanket Mahadev Sargar won India’s first medal at the Commonwealth Games 2022 with a silver in the men’s 55 kg category in Birmingham on Saturday. The 21-year-old from Kolhapur looked on course to win the gold but two failed clean and jerk attempts compromised his bid as he settled with a total lift of 248 kg (113 kg+135 kg).
Sargar dominated the snatch section, leading by six kilograms. But the Indian debutant could only produce one valid attempt in the clean and jerk. He picked up an injury and looked in agony after failing to lift 139kg in his second and third attempts. Sargar also earned plaudits for the extreme courage that he displayed at the event. During his third attempt in clean and jerk, the Indian weightlifter tried to lift a weight of 139 kg but couldn’t do so, and seemingly suffered an injury on his right hand. However, despite the pain, he continued to re-attempt the lift but failed to do so.
Sanket Sagar was born on 16th October 2000, in the town of Sangli in Maharashtra. The town of Sangli is famous for producing many national-level weightlifters and is considered one of the weightlifting hubs of India. Sargar’s father runs a paan and food stall in Maharashtra, and the sport of weightlifting seems to run in his genes as his sister too has taken up the sport. Sanket Sargar took up weightlifting at the age of 13. Sanket has been fulfilling his father’s incomplete dream to be a weightlifter.
The Sargar family, in fact, went through some tough times before Sanket was picked for the national team. However, he first came into the spotlight in 2020 when he won the gold medal at the Senior National Championship. In fact, the very same year, he clinched another gold medal at the Khelo India Youth Games while studying at Shivaji University, Kolhapur. Later, Sargar went on to win two more Senior National Championships in 2021 and 2022.
Sanket Sargar first came into the international limelight at the Singapore International Weightlifting Meet in 2022. There, he lifted a total weight of 256 kg (113 kg in snatch, 143 kg in clean and jerk) to clinch the gold medal. In the process, he broke both the Commonwealth and the national records for the 55-kg men’s category.
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