NEW DELHI, July 16: Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Tuesday said India has the potential to give traditional weightlifting powerhouses such as China and North Korea a run for their money.
India returned from the Commonwealth Championship in Apia, Samoa with a rich tally of 35 medals in the youth, junior and senior categories, breaking numerous national, Commonwealth, world and Asian records.
The sports minister spent time talking to the 37-member contingent and congratulating them on their achievements.
“Good performances in tournaments are good signs. India can become the weightlifting powerhouse in the coming days,” Rijiju said.
“We can have a very close competition with China and North Korea. India has the potential and I want that we should be at the top and get number of medals in the Olympics,” he added.
India has traditionally been like China, South Korea and North Korea dominate the global events.
However, recent results show that India is making steady progress in senior and junior categories led by former world champion Mirabai Chanu and Youth Olympics gold medallist Jeremy Lalrinnunga, respectively.
In the Asian Championships in April, Mirabai had missed out on a medal by whisker. The 25-year-old had lifted 199kg (86kg+113kg) but lost out to China’s Zhang Rong, who also lifted the same total, owing to a lower clean and jerk result. – PTI