Mizoram weightlifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga has won hearts, besides a dream gold medal, at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022.
The 19-year-old athlete from Aizawl won the gold medal in the 67 kg category with a Games record lift of 140 kg in snatch and 160 kg in clean and jerk – the grand total of 300 kg.
Jeremy Lalrinnunga was seen in deep pain as he battled cramps to complete the lifts even as his nearest competition – silver medal winner Vaipava Ioane of Samoa managed to lift 293 kg.
Jeremy looked injured at the end of his final attempt of 165 kg, which he failed to complete, with the Indian coaches working closely with him. The youngster though looked in good spirit when he was presented the yellow metal on the podium as the Indian national anthem played in the background.
Visuals of Jeremy’s heroics and his composure while the National Anthem was being played at the arena, have since gone viral.
At the podium, the silver medal winning Samoan lifter Vaipava Loane was seen taking off a bright red flower garland from his own neck and leaning across to place it around Jeremy Lalrinnunga’s.
“This is a Samoan magic necklace, which we use for good luck and friendship,” Loane is said to have whispered into the Indian’s ear. “You, Jeremy are my friend, and this is my way of showing respect,” the 34-year-old nodded to his much-younger, prodigious colleague.
The 19-year-old, from Aizawl in Mizoram, had won the gold in the 62 kg event at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games and also won a gold in the 67 kg category in the Commonwealth Championships last year.