KARACHI: Pakistan’s 19-year-old Nooh Dastagir Butt on Saturday registered a new record at the 2017 Commonwealth Weightlifting Championship in Gold Coast, Australia as the youngster won a gold in the juniors’ category and a silver medal in the seniors’ event. Nooh was competing in the +105kg event with compatriot debutant Abdullah Butt. The national champion showed extraordinary form in the finals of the event by quashing the tough competition given to him by weightlifters from India, New Zealand and Samoa in the juniors’ category. He made the new national record and broke the commonwealth record in juniors’ event lifting 389kg overall with snatch, clean and jerk.
“Nooh has been exceptional,” the Pakistan Weightlifting Federation (PWF) vice president and the team’s manager Rashed Malik was quoted as saying from Gold Coast. “He is the most successful junior player we’ve had. Nobody has ever achieved this feat before. He only missed out on one snatch which pushed him back to silver medal in the seniors’ category.” He continued: “But for Nooh it is huge and it is big for Pakistan because not only did he break and improved his own national record but created a history for the country with the new Commonwealth record. There were two players each from India, New Zealand and Samoa that were all very tough to beat. Nooh aggregated the best in juniors. He lifted 222kg in clean and jerk which was the same as the Samon player who took gold. Nooh did fall back a bit in snatch, which was 167kg, but still it is the best among juniors.” It is also the most successful campaign for Pakistan in weightlifting at the Commonwealth Championships as they finished with two gold and two silver medals.
Earlier, the 17-year-old Talha Talib won a gold medal in juniors and silver in seniors’ event in 62 kg event. “We’ve never had this before, in 1974 we won just one silver, same in the later years, we never took more than one medal at the Commonwealth Championships before. This is spelling a great time for us, it’s the collective hard work from everyone and the players,” said Malik. Meanwhile, Malik added that the players went on to take the dope test that they cleared and the squad has wrapped up their campaign. The 2018 Commonwealth Games will also take place in Gold Coast and this was the event to gauge the competition before the Games. The PWF is also working on the long-term plan to qualify for the 2020 Olympics with the current pool of talent.