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BIRMINGHAM: Pakistan’s rookie weightlifter Hanzala Dastgir Butt failed to live up to the billing when he finished at the poor ninth position in the men’s 109 kilogramme competitions of the Commonwealth Games here at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) on Wednesday.
Hanzala, who was the youngest of the heavyweight lot, featuring 11 competitors, was expected to pull off his best and press for the medal but it did not happen.
The 19-year old weightlifter from Gujranwala was never seen in control right from the start and finished with a poor total of 315 kilogramme.
He was the first to start, lifting 135kg in his first attempt in snatch. He then mis-lifted the 142kg where he showed some haste that unsettled his balance. However, he managed 142kg in his third attempt. He was ninth at the end of the snatch session. And in clean and jerk Hanzala also did not put in his best. After lifting 173kg in his first attempt he failed to lift 180kg in his next two attempts and so finished ninth, a display which was not expected from him. His attempts’ break-up in snatch was 135kg, X (142kg), 142kg and 173kg, X (180kg), X (180kg) in jerk.
It was indeed a nail-biting finish to a highly enthralling contest which was dominated by Cameroon’s Junior Periclex Ngadja Nyabeyeu who took gold with a super effort of 361kg.
Periclex looked too confident. His snatch was not that good as he finished at the fourth spot in that session with 160kg. However in jerk his monstrous lift of 201 was enough for him to take the gold despite missing 205kg in his third attempt where he lost balance.
Periclex’s snatch break-up was 156, X (160kg) and 160kg while his jerk remained 196kg, 201kg, X (205kg).
Jack Hitila Opeloge of Samoa snared silver with 348kg. And he was indeed a stunning man, also attracting a lot of applause from the thick crowd.
Jack, who topped snatch session with 164kg, did not impress in the jerk. After taking a start with 194kg, Jack mis-lifted 200kg and 201kg in his next two attempts but still was able to settle with a silver.
India’s Lovepreet Singh got bronze with 355 kg, which was also a new national record. He remained too impressive. Finishing third in snatch with 163 kg he did well in jerk, lifting 192 kg which gifted him the bronze.
He managed 157kg, 161kg and 163kg in snatch and his jerk comprised 185kg, 189kg before missing the third attempt of 192kg.
Canada’s Pierre Alexander Bessette, who finished second in snatch with 163kg, failed to do well in jerk and missed the medal by a huge gape of six kilogramme as he finished with a total of 349kg.
The Canadian’s break-up remained (snatch, 150kg, 157kg, 163kg) and clean and jerk (172kg, X (186kg), 186kg.
Roberts Young of Australia finished fifth with a total of 347kg. After managing only 146kg as his best effort in snatch he came hard and managed 202kg in jerk which was also the best successful effort of this session but it did not help him as much.
England’s Andy Griffiths, playing for the first time in the quadrennial event, finished seventh with 346kg total (160 snatch, 201 jerk) and then followed Jordan Sakkas of Wales (328kg (146kg snatch, 182 kg jerk), Sio Talakai Pomelile of Tonga (320kg (140 snatch, 180kg), Hanzala (315kg (142kg snatch, 173kg jerk).
Muhammad Hafiz Shamsuddin of Malaysia, who recorded a 160kg snatch, mis-lifted all his three attempts of 178kg he attempted in jerk and was put out of the race.
New Zealand’s Koale Junior Tasi Taala was also disqualified after he missed all his three lifts in snatch.
The final event of the +109kg was scheduled to be held Wednesday night. Pakistan’s Nooh Dastgir Butt was expected to fight for the gold medal.
Pakistan have fielded three weightlifters in the event. Haider Ali the other day finished fifth in the 81kg competition which also resulted in his elbow injury.