India's wait for its first-ever Youth Olympics gold medal has ended as early as on the third day of the ongoing edition of the Games in Buenos Aires as 15-year-old weightlifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga clinched the yellow metal in the 62 kg category.
Jeremy achieved a personal best of 274kg in the big final with a Snatch of 124 kg and a Clean and Jerk of 150 kg. The total tally could have earned him an 11th spot in the 62kg senior category at Rio Olympics in 2016.
Notably, his previous best came as recently as at the selection trials last month where he lifted 273 kg, which included a youth and junior national record in Snatch — 126 kg.
Gold Morning India!! ???— Team India (@ioaindia) October 9, 2018
Jeremy Lalrinnunga becomes the first ever Gold Medallist for #TeamIndia at the @youtholympics Games #BuenosAires2018 as he successfully lifts a combined weight of 274kgs in his #Weightlifting Men's 62kg Group A event! World, take a bow!#IAmTeamIndia ?? pic.twitter.com/dOCSNeMJdP
The Mizoram boy, who trains at the Army Sports Institute in Pune, was one of the brightest medal prospects at the ongoing third edition, given his consistent run in the youth and junior tournaments at the international level.
The historic Youth Olympics medal comes hours after Mehuli Ghosh came close to winning a gold in the women's 10m Air Rifle event yesterday. She had missed a finish on the top step of the podium by a whisker as her final shot of 9.1 let her down.
With Jeremy's medal, India have now a total of four medals in the ongoing Youth Olympics — a gold and three silvers.
IBTimes, India has compiled a list of things that you need to know about India's latest weightlifting sensation.
- Jeremy was born in October 2002 in Mizoram's capital of Aizawl.
- The Mizoram boy took to boxing as early as at the age of six and was training under his father Lalmaithuava, who was a national level boxer.
Boxer Jeremy takes to weightlifting
- However, coaches at the Army Institute of Sports (AIS) in Pune saw a weightlifter in him. Jeremy had learnt the tricks of weightlifting from Aizawl-based coach Malsawma Khiangte even as he was training inside the ring.
- Jeremy had to leave home and start full-time training at the AIS in 2012.
- Jeremy's first major medal came at the World Youth championships in 2016. He won a silver in the 56 kg category.
- Ever since he has been consistently winning medals at the international level. He went on to win silver at 2017 World Youth Championships and gold medal at Commonwealth Youth and Junior Championships later that year.
- Jeremy continued his form into the Youth Olympics year (2018) as he had won a silver at the Asian Youth Championships and a bronze at the Asian Junior Championships held in Urgench in April.
Chickenpox break brings about a major change in career
- Jeremy had to shift from the 56 kg weight category to 62 kg earlier this year after he went down with chickenpox, according to The Bridge.
- The teenager conceded he was struggling to keep his weight at 56 but coach Vijay Sharma had insisted him to do so until the Youth Olympics. However, things changed after his recovery from chickenpox.
- Jeremy said he had started to train with more intensity after his recovery and eventually got permission to compete in the 62 kg category.
Jeremy's love for chicken and Cristiano Ronaldo
- Jeremy, it seems, doesn't shy away from keeping his ambitions high as the Mizoram teenager is focussed on winning an Olympic gold for India at the senior level.
- The Youth Olympic champion, who loves eating chicken, unlike the kids of his age is not interesting in sitting with video games, according to Mensxp.
- His first-love boxing and a bit of football keeps him engaged when he is not training. Real Madrid is his favourite football club while Cristiano Ronaldo, his favourite footballer.