MELBOURNE, March 20: Shujauddin Malik won Pakistan’s first gold medal of the 2006 Commonwealth Games on Monday with victory in the men’s 85kg weightlifting.
The 34-year-old lifted a combined 343kg, including a new Commonwealth record of 193kg in the clean-and-jerk to beat Cameroon’s Brice Batchaya by 12 kilos.
Another Cameroon lifter Simplice Ribouem took bronze with 325kg.
“I spent three very hard years training for this,” said Shuja.
“I feel very proud and happy to have won Pakistan’s first gold medal of the Games and, God willing, I will represent my country at the Beijing Olympics.”
India’s Satheesha Rai, who won the event in Manchester in 2002 before being stripped of the gold after failing a drugs test, was fourth with 322kg.
The night’s crowd highlight was provided by the sixth-placed Scottish lifter Peter Kirkbride, who ended every lift with a patriotically passionate chant.
“Yeah, I just shout out thanking my coach because he got me here,” Kirkbride said after the competition.
“I just chant his name – Charlie Hamilton.”—Agencies