The Indian Weightlifters have been sensational at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. They have already broken the record that they set in Gold Coast back in 2018 as they have now won 10 medals at the event. Amid all the buzz and positivity there was some disappointment regarding Punam Yadav who bagged a gold medal in Gold Coast but had to return empty handed in Birmingham. Punam won gold in 2018 while competing in the women’s 69 kg but in Birmingham she changed category and competed in the women’s 76kg.
She started well and was in silver medal position after the snatch round. However her journey in the Commonwealth Games came to an end when she failed to complete even one of her three clean and jerk attempts. It was a shame as Puna looked on course to win a medal but from there she was simply out of the competition as she failed to get a single lift registered in clean and jerk.
After the competition, IWLF (Indian Weightlifting Federation) President Sahdev Yadav raised serious accusations against Punam as he shared that the female weightlifter was playing with an injury and was not absolutely fit to win a medal.
Sahdev Yadav told PTI how India lost a medal which should have been in the bag. He also shared how Punam’s name was not on the list as she was injured but later they had no other option but to add her name as she showed proof of her fitness. “We lost one medal, “ Sahdev told PTI.
“That’s why initially we had held back her name,” Sahdev answered the fitness questions. “But, the athlete claimed she’s 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,” he continued.
“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,” Sahdev clearly highlighted the technical areas and pointed out how Punam’s injury did not allow her to perform her best.
But the Indian weightlifter completely denied the accusations of fitness as she shared how injuries are a part of a lifter’s life. “Niggles are part and parcel of a lifter’s life and I was on course. It happens, my sheer bad luck”.
Punam’s third attempt in clean and jerk was successful as she lifted the weight but released it before the buzzer went off. Therefore the lift was invalid and when she was asked about it, she came up with a bizarre reply. “One of the judges smiled and I dropped it without seeing the light,” Punam Yadav shared.