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World Junior Weightlifting Championship 2022 | Harshada Garud wins gold in women’s 45kg

Harshada Sharad Garud, a weightlifter from India, won gold in the women’s 45kg division at the World Junior Weightlifting Championships 2022 in Heraklion, Greece, becoming the country’s one and only junior world champion. She took first place in an eight-woman field by lifting a total of 153kg.

Her snatch performance was the best in the class, while her clean and jerk results were second only to Turkey’s Bektas Cansu, who won silver with a total of 150kg (65kg+85kg). With a total lift of 149kg (67kg+82kg), Hincu Teodora-Luminita of Moldova took bronze in the non-Olympic division. The other Indian in the class, Anjali Patel, came in sixth with a total effort of 148kg (67kg+81kg).

“I am so happy, I can’t comprehend what’s happening, I am struggling to express my happiness right now,” Harshada Garud, who took up weightlifting at the age of 12, told PTI.  “It will take some time to sink in. My father was a state-level weightlifter. Although I never saw him in action, I always heard his stories and stories about him. I never thought of doing anything else,” Harshada added.

Harshada, a Savitribai Phule Pune University Bachelor of Arts student, earned the under-17 girls’ weightlifting gold at the Khelo India Youth Games (KIUG) 2020. This year’s Khelo India University Games are also going extraordinarily well for her university (KIUG).

Only Mirabai Chanu (bronze in 2013), Jhilli Dalabehera (bronze in 2018), and Achinta Sheuli (silver in 2021) have won medals for India at the world junior weightlifting championships prior to Garud.

Later in the competition, two more Indians earned medals. On Tuesday, Gyaneshwari Yadav and V Rithika won silver and bronze in the women’s 49kg weight event, respectively. V Rithika lifted 150kg (69kg+81kg), while Gyaneshwari Yadav posted a combined total of 156kg (73kg+83kg). Aisah Cantika of Indonesia, a bronze medalist at Tokyo 2020, won gold in the 49kg event with an 185kg (83kg+102kg) lift.

India has sent an eight-member team to the meet in Greece, consisting of six men and two women. China, a weightlifting superpower that won eight medals in Tokyo 2020, including seven golds, will not compete in the World Junior Weightlifting Championships in 2022.

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