It’s raining medals in weightlifting for India. After as many as 4 medals – 2 gold, one silver, and one bronze – were earned on Day 1 and Day 2 of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Satish Kumar Sivalingam gave the country its third gold medal, fifth overall as he topped the Commonwealth Games charts in 77 kg weightlifting at the Gold Coast, Australia. The Indian weightlifter completed his snatch attempts with lifts of 136, 140 and 144 kg, respectively, only behind England’s Jack Oliver, who lifted 145 in his second attempt in the 77 kg category.
Sathish amassed a total of 317 kg after he lifted a whopping 173 kg in his third attempt, following 169 in first. He didn’t even need a third attempt as the closest one could get to him was England’s Jack Oliver with a cumulative attempt of 312. He was followed by Australia’s Francois Etoundi, who had even injured himself in the clean & jerk lift. It was a clear victory for the Indian, who didn’t seem to have broken a sweat in his lifts, until the last 173 kg jerk.
Satish had qualified for the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast after winning a gold medal at the Commonwealth Senior Weightlifting Championships in Australia. The 2014 CWG gold medal-winner Sathish Kumar had lifted 148kg in snatch and 172kg in clean & jerk for a total effort of 320kg in senior men’s 77kg. Sathish had confirmed himself a Rio Olympics berth after topping the selection trials in India, lifting a total of 336kg, comprising of 151kg in snatch and 185kg in clean and jerk. In Rio, however, he lifted 148kg in snatch and 181kg in clean and jerk for a total of 329kg to finish fourth in his group and 11th overall.
India does not have a great history in Men’s weightlifting, but Satish’s heroics means that is about to change. He was born to a former serviceman, who was national level weightlifter himself in Sathuvachari, Vellore, in Tamil Nadu. His father, Sivalingam, brought a premature end to his Army career and started working as a security guard at Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT) University to make ends meet. Under his father’s tutelage, Sathish started training at the age of 13.