Sathish Sivalingam brought India yet another medal in weightlifting after winning Gold in the men's 77kg event. This is India's third gold medal and fifth medal overall at the Games so far. All five medals have come in weightlifting.
He lifted a combined total of 317 kg (144 snatch and 173 clean and jerk) to beat England's Jack Oliver, who won silver. Sathish becomes the first ever male Indian weightlifter to win Gold in two different editions of the Commonwealth Games.
Sathish successfully lifted 136 and then 140 kg in his first two snatch attempts to set the tempo. Oliver, however, went for 141 and 145kg in his first two attempts to take the lead. Before heading into the clean and jerk, Sathish lifted 144kg in his third snatch attempt to comfortably sit in second place after Oliver failed to lift 148kg in his third attempt.
Sathish took the lead lifting 169kg in his first clean and jerk attempt after Oliver lifted 167kg. Sathish looked comfortable and confident going on to lift 173kg, while Oliver failed to lift 171kg in two attempts. This confirmed the gold for Sathish.
Sathish went into the men's 77kg competition bidding to become only the first male Indian weightlifter to win gold medals at two separated Commonwealth Games. He had won gold in the same weight category at Glasgow setting a Games record in the snatch (149kg) and lifting a personal best total of 328 kg.
A double gold was not a far-fetched proposition considering the 25-year old's record at the Commonwealth Championships. A few months before, he had cruised to his fourth gold medal at that event with a total lift of 320 kg, beating the silver medal winner by 10 kilos. He had only improved on that total at the World Championships, lifting a total of 328 kg.
Unlike other lifters, Sathish seems to thrive at the big stage - he recorded his personal best total of 329 kg (148 kg in the snatch and 181 kg in the clean and jerk) at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
It was perhaps preordained that Sathish would become a weightlifter. The Sathuvachari suburb of Vellore, where he grew up, is home to dozens of international weightlifters, including five Olympians and four Arjuna awardees (including Sathish himself). His father, Sivalingam, was a former weightlifter for the Services team, winning two medals at the Nationals. Sivalingam ensured his son would follow his path.
"I started training him before he turned 13 at the Atlas Gym next to our home. He worked for not less than five hours a day. Sathish had won medals in junior and senior categories in the State, national and Asian-level games," said Sivalingam, who currently works as a security guard at the Vellore Institute of Technology.
When Sathish won gold at Glasgow, he dedicated the performance to his father. "He had participated in the Nationals but had never won an international medal. By winning a gold, I fulfilled his dream. He told everyone in our neighbourhood that I would win gold," he had said.
Ahead of the Gold Coast Games, he wanted to repeat that same achievement. "I want to win another gold medal. It has never been done before and I want to be the first one to do it," he had said.
He kept his word.