Aucklander Stas Chalaev today provided New Zealand with its second Commonwealth Games weightlifting medal in Delhi when he took the silver in the men’s 105kg division with a personal best total of 334kg.
Chalaev lifted consistently well throughout the competition. In the snatch he lifted 150kg and in the clean and jerk he was successful with 184kg.
The gold medal was won by Samoan Niusila Opeloge, with 338gk. Chalaev said that just for a moment he thought he might be able to cause an upset.
“I was ranked No 2 coming into the competition, but the top guy missed a couple of lifts in the snatch. One more and I’d have had a chance at the gold.”
Even so, Chalaev said he was more than happy with his silver. “I was pleased with my lifting. I’ve done more, but it’s what you do on the day.”
Before today his best total was 331kg. His best snatch was 150kg and his best clean and jerk 188kg, but he had not been able to put them together in one competition.
“It means a lot to me. It’s my first games and to get the silver…I’m so happy.
“I’ve been here in Delhi a long time, waiting and thinking and processing. It was good to finally get out there today and compete.”
The bronze medal went to Nigerian Curtis Onaghinor with 332kg.
Chalaev was born in Russia and moved to New Zealand when he was 12.