Weightlifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga entered the history books after opening India's gold medal account at the Jeremy Lalrinnunga in Buenos Aires. The 15 year-old claimed the top honours in the men’s 62kg category by lifting a total of 274kg (124kg +150kg) category on Monday night.
The young weightlifter faced stiff competition from silver medalist Toptas Caner from Turkey, who lifted 263 kg (122kg+141kg), while Colombia’s Villar Estiven Jose settlef for bronze with an effort of 260 kg (115kg+143kg).
The Mizo sensation, who will turn 16 on October 26, is being touted as the next big thing in Indian weightlifting. Lalrinnunga, who is no stranger to success, earlier this year claimed a silver (youth) and a bronze (junior) medal at the Asian Championships, smashing two national records in the process.
With his maiden gold it also means that India are set to record their best ever performance at the Youth Olympics. The country has already won four medals bagging a silver each in 10m rifle shooting while Thangjam Tababi Devi won India’s first medal in judo by finishing second in the 44kg category.
India won just two medals — a silver and a bronze — in the last Youth Olympics in 2014 in Nanjing in China. In the inaugural 2010 edition in Singapore, the nation fetched six silver and a couple of bronze medals.
While Lalrinnunga made the nation proud, weightlifter Sneha Soren will return home empty handed after finishing fifth in the women’s 48kg category. Meanwhile in swimming, Srihari Nataraj, put on a gritty performance by finishing in sixth position in the 100m backstroke final, despite being a reserve.
In other events, India's budding paddlers Archana Kamath and Manav Thakkar won their respective singles matches of the group stage. Kamath beat Malaysia’s Javen Choong 4-2 while Thakkar defeated Slovakia’s Aleksandra Vovk 4-1. Even the Indian hockey team produced a clinical show as the they thrashed Austria 9-1.
Though, India's rising badminton sensation Lakshya Sen was made to toil hard against Danylo Bosniuk in the first game before he regained his composure to overcome the Ukrainian 23-21, 21-8. The country is being represented by 47 athletes at the ongoing Games, its biggest ever contingent.