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Arun misses gold by a whisker

Written by: Staff

Melbourne, Mar 17 (UNI) It was a classic case of so near yet so far for Indian weightlifter Arun Murugesan who missed the gold on body weight to Sri Lanka's Chinthana Vidanage in the 62kg category in the Commonwealth Games here today.

Only 80 grams separated the Tamil Nadu based Arun from Vidanage and after being tied with a total of 271 kg the Sri Lankan was declared winner because of less body weight. He weighed 61.79 kg compared to Indian's weight of 61.87.

The bronze was claimed by Malaysian Abdul Rashid Roswandi who lifted a total of 261 kg.

Twenty-nine-year-old Murugasen, winner of bronze medal at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games, had every thing going for him till he missed the first lift in clean and jerk.

The Indian Railway employee started the snatch with a lift of 115 kg and went on to lift 119 kg in the second attempt ending with 121 kg in his last effort to emerge leader in the field of 19 lifters.

Vidnage on the other hand only one successful lift, that was of 118 kg in his third attempt, while Roswandi had a lift of 120 in his second attempt.

In clean and jerk Murugesan started on the wrong foot as he failed to lift 145 kg which proved his undoing. He again went for 145 kg which he lifted but hurt his muscles in the process.

Vidanage lifted 145 kg in his first attempt and then went for 150 kg but his lift was disallowed by the jury. Roswandi by then had lifted 137 and 141 kgs but failed in his last attempt to lift 146 kg.

Now it became a two-horse race for the gold between the Indian and the Sri Lankan. Vidanage asked for 153 kg weight for his last attempt. Not taking chances, Arun went for 150 kg last attempt and easily cleared it.

The Sri Lankan, knowing fully well that if he cleared the last attempt he will win the gold because of bodyweight, showed tremendous determination and concentration as he lifted the weight to the thunderous applause from the packed hall.

Murugasean was left to be satisfied with a silver.

''I am not disappointed,'' Murugesan said later.

''Yes, I could have done better, but the muscle pull made things difficult for me, but I am thankful that I managed to lift 271 in such conditions.'' ''There is always a next time and my next target is Doha Asian Games, I am confident of winning gold there,'' he said.

Meanwhile, there was heartbreak for Pakistan as their star lifter Ishtiaq Mohammad Ghafoor narrowly missed the bronze with a total of 258 kg. The Pakistani failed to lift 148kg in his last attempt thus enabling Malaysian Roswadi to take the bronze.


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