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Geeta wins gold, Simple lifts silver

Written by: Staff

Melbourne, Mar 22 (UNI) Geeta Rani and Simple Kaur Bhumrah lifted a gold and a silver respectively in over 75 kg category with new Games record as India's campaign in women weightlifting competition ended on a resounding note in the Commonwealth Games here today.

One kg was the difference between gold and silver for the two Indian lifters who thrilled the packed hall with their easy style of lifting.

Geeta lifted 241 kg and Bhumrah 240 Kg as they shared gold and silver between themselves.

India bagged nine medals--three gold, five silver and a bronze-- in the competition with women lifters bagging all three golds.

Kunjarani Devi started the Indian campaign with a gold and this afternoon it was left to 25-year-old Geeta to end it with another.

The tussle for the First two positions was between the two Indians as the over 75 kg event began.

Geeta, winner of three bronze medals in 75 kg category in last year's Asian Championship in Dubai, started cautiously as she opted for 95 kg opening in snatch.

However, her compatriot 21-year-old Simple went for 100 kg opening lift and that set the ball rolling for an absorbing tussle between the two Indians.

Geeta was cautious in her approach and in her second attempt she increased the weight to 100 kg while Bumrah raised the weight to 101 kg and in the third attempt, the Punjab girl went for 104 while Bhumrah, from Chhattisgarh, opted for 105 kg.

The nine other lifters in the field were way behind the two and at the end of the snatch event, it was evident that gold and silver will go to the Indians. Dean Keisha Soffe of New Zealand was distant third with a 100 kg in snatch.

But the real drama began in clean and jerk, Geeta opted for 123 kg and Bhumrah, in her exuberance, asked the weight to be raised to 128 which proved to be a mistake.

She failed to hold on to it and missed the lift which cost her the gold.

Geeta opted for 130 kg in her second attempt and lifted it with ease while Bhumrah again asked for 128 but managed to clear it this time.

In the last attempt, Geeta lifted 137 to total 241 (104, 137) and Bhumrah with a last lift of 135 aggregated 240 (105 kg, 125).

Soffe won the bronze with 224 (100 kg, 114).

''I am very thrilled. It was my dream to win a gold in the Games and I am so pleased to have achieved that. Simple (Bhumrah) gave a tough competition. It was great to see two Indians fighting it out for top honours in an international competition,'' Geeta said.

Simple on her part, praised Geeta saying, ''She is my senior and she did a good job to win the gold. I think missing the irst lift in clean and jerk cost me the gold but I am happy that it has been won by another friend and fellow Indian.'' UNI HSB PM RN1143

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