At the men's heavyweight para powerlifting competition for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Thursday, Indian para-athlete Sudhir took home the gold medal. India's first gold medal in para powerlifting at the CWG was the 28-year-old Sudhir's highest podium placement at Birmingham 2022.
At 87.30 kg, Sudhir lifted 208 kg on his first try before increasing it to 212 kg on his second. Unfortunately, his third effort at 217kg was unsuccessful.
"I absolutely thought I would win gold," Sudhir said. "My preparation was very good and I thank Birmingham for this. Preparation was good, the weather was good, the crowd was great – fantastic.
"Next for me is a celebration: I'm going to London to enjoy some shopping and see the city."
At the National Exhibition Centre, Sudhir's second lift of 212 kg gave him a total of 134.5 points, a new Games record, and a gold medal.
In para powerlifting, points are determined using a system that takes into account the athlete's best lift, body weight, age, gender, and other variables.
Nigeria's Ikechukwu Christian was awarded the silver medal with 133.6 points, and Scotland's Micky Yule took home the bronze with 130.9.
Sudhir, a powerlifter from Sonipat, Haryana, who has won six national championships and an Asian bronze medal, was diagnosed with polio at the age of four. His victory at the NEC on Thursday was just one of many international honours he has brought home for India.
India's Manpreet Kaur (89.6 points) and Sakina Khatun (86.5 points) placed fifth and sixth, respectively, in the women's lightweight powerlifting competition. In the men's lightweight finals, Parmjeet Kumar was unable to record a legitimate effort.