Only 4 women lifters in All-India Railway competition

Kolkata: The 58th All-India Railway weightlifting Championship being held here turned out to be no-contest in the women’s section as only four participants competed in two sections.

Star attraction Renu Bala Chanu, the Commonwealth Games gold medallist, pulled out of the meet at the last moment leaving the women’s field in a total disarray.

Swati Singh (North-eastern Frontier Railway) and Meenothi Shetty (Eastern Railway) competed in the 58kg category taking the top-two places respectively.

Swati, who competed at the CWG, lifted 145 kg (65kg in snatch and 80kg in jerk). Meenothi was way below the winner, lifting 105kg (45+60) but with no other competitor the ER lifter won the second place.

Likewise, above 75kg section also saw a no-contest with Shristy Singh (N F Railway) and Amrita Rajashree (Eastern Railway) securing first and second places respectively. A gap of 30kg separated the winner and the runner-up.

A minimum of four participants in an event are required for a competition to be held but the organisers had no choice but to hold the event at the Netaji Subhas Institute Gymnasium Hall.

Tournament technical director A K Sirohi said such a situation arose because the Railways don not have much women weightlifters under its wing at the moment.

“We want to promote weightlifting among women. Renu (Bala Chanu) is not well so could not take part and there were not many women competitors left but we still held the event,” Sirohi said.

With the technical rule of four competitors not met, no rating points were awarded to the four women, a technical official said.