Malaysia, Nigeria put Indian hopes in shade

NEW DELHI, October 4, 2010 (AFP) – India’s highly-rated Commonwealth Games weightlifting squad were shoved into the shadows on Monday when their gold medal hopes were shattered by an ex-drugs cheat and a Nigerian schoolgirl. Malaysian veteran Amirul Hamizan Ibrahim, whose career was interrupted by a two-year doping suspension in 2005, regained his 56kg title to become his country’s most successful Games athlete with four golds.

The 30-year-old’s victory, achieved with a new Games record total of 257kg, meant India’s Sukhen Dey had to settle for silver with compatriot Srinivasa Rao claiming bronze.

Earlier, 17-year-old Nigerian high school student Augustina Nwaokolo took the women’s 48kg title, beating home favourites Soniya Chanu and Sandhya Rani into the silver and bronze medal positions.

Ibrahim won the gold medal at the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002, but missed the 2006 edition in Melbourne while he served his ban.

He waited until the late stages of the snatch to make his first appearance and comfortably lifted a Commonwealth record of 116kg to take the lead.

In the clean and jerk, 21-year-old Dey nipped ahead with a 140kg lift before Ibrahim went a kilo better, knowing that he had the adv