Poonam, who won a bronze medal in the women’s 63kg category at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and a gold in the 69kg category at Gold Coast in 2018, got off to a disappointing start as she failed to lift 95kg in her first attempt.
However, she recovered well enough to successfully lift the same weight in her second attempt and then equaled her personal best and national record of 98kg in the snatch in a final attempt to keep herself medal hunt.
She was placed second after completing the snatch with Canada’s Maya Leller lifting 100kg. But clean and jerk proved to be anti-climax for Poonam.
Like her first attempt at snatch, Poonam failed to lift 116kg in her first clean and jerk attempt. But unlike the first round, she could not recover in the next two attempts.
Defending Commonwealth Games champion Poonam eventually lifted 116kg in her third attempt, which could have earned her a medal, but in a moment of brain fade, she let go of the bar before the referee’s down-signal. And it was called a ‘no-lift’ by the jury.
The Indian looked distraught and challenged the judge’s decision after her final attempt, but it was overruled, leaving her out of the competition.
Canada’s Maya Leller, the pre-tournament favorite, won the gold medal with a sports record of 228kg (100+128), while Nigeria’s Taiwo Liadi won the silver with a total weight of 216kg (96+120). The bronze medal was won by Maximina Yupa of Narou, who lifted 215 kg (96+119).
The 27-year-old, who has been gradually increasing her weight class at each CWG event, resumed her training stint within three months of giving birth to a girl child in May 2020.
Poonam, who built gym at home in UP, gave birth to little Priyanshi in a government hospital in May 2020. Though private hospitals recommended caesarean operations, both her husband Dharmaraj and Poonam insisted on a natural birth to ensure that their weightlifting career was not affected.
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