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IANS

Indian weight-lifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga, who clinched the men's 67 kg gold medal at the Commonwealth Games 2022, has said that it was a dream come true for him and he thanked Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Mirabai Chanu for the inspiration and playing a big part in his success.

The 19-year-old fought through the pain barrier on Sunday and came up with a brilliant performance, lifting an aggregate of 300kg (140 in snatch and 160 in clean and jerk) to win a gold medal in the men's 67 kg division at the NEC Hall 3 at Solihull.

"My phone wallpaper for a while has been a Commonwealth Games gold medal. After winning the Youth Olympics in 2018, it took me a long time to win my first major senior medal because of injuries, and other things. So, this means a lot," an elated Lalrinnunga said after his win.

The Indian weightlifter singled out 'Queen of Indian Weightlifting' Mirabai Chanu, who won the women's 49kg gold medal at Birmingham 2022 on Saturday, as a special factor behind his success.

"Mirabai didi (elder sister) has been a huge motivator for me. Even before the event she came up to me and encouraged me to do well. She was also right there in the front row amongst the audience with the Indian flag, cheering for me. That was a big deal for me," Jeremy revealed.

The 27-year-old Chanu, who clinched a historic silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year, has been a trendsetter for Indian weightlifting and an inspiration to young lifters like Jeremy for years now and her work ethics is a thing to learn for young weightlifters.

"I have a lot to learn from Mirabai didi. Her work ethic is brilliant. I need to follow that to make it to the Olympics and hopefully win a medal like her," Lalrinnunga said.

Post his win, Jeremy dedicated his gold medal to his biggest supporters - his grandparents.

"My Dada and Dadi used to always pray for me. My 'Dada' left me before I left for Youth Olympics and my 'Dadi' left me post that and I couldn't be home both times. I know that before every lift I follow everything that they told me to say and that's why I dedicated my medal to them," he said.,

Jeremy, who had missed out on the Tokyo Olympics due to his long-standing struggle with injury, revealed that making it to Paris 2024 will be his next target and his focus will now shift to Olympic qualifying tournaments.

Before that, though, the young star from Mizoram, wants to celebrate his win with his parents and appreciated everyone for their love and support.

"I haven't been home for two years. I was either competing, training or recovering from injury. Now I think I can take a week's break and head home to celebrate my win with my parents. I am very happy for all the love that I have received from back home. There were so many who came to see me here in the stadium as well and I just want to say thank you to everyone," Jeremy signed off.

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