Monika, Sarabjit to lead India in Commonwealth Games
New Delhi: Dope-tainted Manipuri lifter L Monika Devi and Sarabjit Singh, who broke his own national record in the over 105kg category, will spearhead Indian challenge at the Commonwealth Games from October 3-14.
A silver medallist in the 69kg category in Melbourne Commonwealth Games, Monika had to serve a two-year ban for a dope flunk in 2008, just before the Bejing Olympics.
The top woman lifter was back in action in June when she joined training for the Commonwealth Games after clearing a confirmatory test.
Monika, however, was not up to the mark yesterday but managed to finish comfortably as the best in women’s 75kg in the selection trial.
Among men, Sarabjit, who broke his own national record in the over 105kg category yesterday, will join teammates Sukhen Dey (56kg), VS Rao (56kg), Rustam Sarang (62kg), Omkar Otari (62kg), K Ravi Kumar (69kg), CPR Sudhir Kumar (77kg), Chandrakant Mali (85kg) in carrying the Indian flag.
“The selection trails of weightlifting were held at JN Stadium sports complex on August 7th and 8th and after due deliberations, the selections committee in its meeting animously decided the composition of final Indian team participating in the XIX Commonwealth Games,” IWF general secretary Sahdev Yadav said in a release.
In the women’s team, besides Monica, Ng Soniya Chanu (48kg), A Sandhya Rani (48kg), Swati Singh (53)kg, Y Renu Bala Chanu (58), Srishti Singh (75kg), Geeta Rani (+75kg) and Matsa Santoshi (48kg) as the reserve player are the other contenders for the Delhi Games.
Geeta Rani and Renu Bala Chanu had won gold in 2006 Commonwealth Games and they would look for a similar achievement in October.
However, veteran lifter Sanamacha Chanu, who had won three gold in 2002 Manchester Games, missed out the bus as she had finished third in the trials.
Among men, K Ravi Kumar had bettered his national marks in the trials though it will not go into the record books, while CPR Sudhir Kumar had bagged a bronze in men’s 69 kg Melbourne and the duo would surely boost India’s chances in the Delhi Games.