15 year old Mizo weightlifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga scripted history by winning India’s first gold medal at the Youth Olympics in Beunos Aires, claiming the top credit in the men’s 62kg category.
The young Mizo boy was bullied for having girlish looks when he was young, Lalrinnunga from Government Complex, Luangmual in Aizawl has achieved this incredible feat.
Jeremy on his way to his qualification for the Youth Olympics won silver (youth) and a bronze (junior) in the Asian Championships, breaking two national records in the process.
India’s maiden gold medal came in the wee hours of India time at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina with Jeremy Lalrinnunga lifting 150kg on his last attempt for a combined 274kg.
This is the country’s first-ever gold medal at the Youth Olympics. India’s best performance in the youth Olympics was two medals in 2014 at Nanjing, China.
In Men’s 62kg Group A weightlifting, Jeremy made successful attempts of 120kg and 124kg in snatch and 142kg and 150kg in clean & jerk. With his best successful attempts of 124kg in snatch and 150kg in clean & jerk for a combined 274kg, the 15-year-old won the gold medal.
At a young age, a local weightlifting coach Malsawma Khiangte from Aizawl spotted the talented young Jeremy and in 2012 enrolled him at the elite Army Sports Institute in Pune, after thorough training he started competing in the sub junior levels, in 2016 he won his first national level medal in Bihar. After his maiden medal he joined the national junior camp in Patiala.
In October 2016 he won a medal at the youth world championship and earned a coveted Commonwealth Games gold medal the same year.
Union sports minister Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore in his congratulatory note tweeted: “Historic gold for Jeremy! In a superb show of strength by our 15 year-old weightlifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga wins a gold medal in the men’s 62 kg category at Beunos Aires, 2018. Congrats young man, on India’s 1st ever gold at the youth olympics.”
Mizoram sports minister Zodintluanga expressed his heartfelt congratulations to Jeremy saying his department’s sports policy of nurturing young talents has finally paid off. “Ten years ago we started ‘catch them young’ policy in our attempt to nurture the young and untapped talents of Mizoram, Jeremy Lalrinnunga is a perfect example and the embodiment of the policy’s success,” Zodintluanga said.
The Mizo sports minister added that Lalremsiami, who captained India’s youth womens hockey team too, is the cream of Catch Them Young Policy. “Jeremy has won the gold, respect to that but Lalremsiami must not be overshadowed, she has scored two goals in the opening match in the womens hockey at Beunos Aires,” Zodintluanga added.