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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Bhubaneswar: Ace weightlifter from Odisha, Jhilli Dalabehera hogged limelight by winning a gold medal in the women’s 45 kg category of the Asian Weightlifting Championship at Tashkent on Sunday.

Jhili, a junior World Championship bronze medalist, lifted 69kg in the snatch and followed that up by 88kg in clean jerk for a total of 157 kg to finish top of the podium and clinch the yellow metal.

The silver medal went to Philippines’ Mary Flor Diaz for her effort of 135kg (60kg+75kg).

Asian Weightlifting Championship is an Olympic qualifier event which was postponed last year due to the pandemic. However, 45kg is not an Olympic weight category.

Jhili’s gold was India’s second medal of the tournament as star weightlifter Mirabai Chanu had smashed the world record in the clean and jerk category enroute to a bronze medal on Saturday. The Olympic-bound Chanu lifted 86kg in snatch and a world record of 119kg in clean and jerk for a total of 205kg, which was also her personal best.

With the victory, Jhilli bettered her silver-winning performance in the last edition. However, it was an underwhelming performance as she had lifted 162kg (71kg+91kg) at the same event in 2019.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan were among a host of noted personalities who showered congratulations on Jhilli for her triumph.

“Congratulations to Jhilli Dalabehera on bagging gold medal in the 45kg women’s category at the Senior Asian Weightlifting Championship in Tashkent. Wish her all the best for future,” tweeted CM Naveen.

(Edited by Suryakant Jena)

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