Saturday October 16, 2021

Talha paying attention to clean and jerk to win medals

August 28, 2021

KARACHI: Pakistan’s premier weightlifter Talha Talib feels that his weakness in clean and jerk hurt his performance in the last few international events.

“So I have started working on it and in future events you will see improvement in this area,” he told ‘The News’ in an interview from his hometown Gujranwala on Friday.

“I have been hurt by clean and jerk during the last three or four international events. I have now started working more seriously on this area. I want to improve it in order to win some major international medals in future,” said Talha, who pulled off his career-best performance in both snatch and clean and jerk to finish overall fifth in the Tokyo Olympics recently.

He lifted 150 in snatch and 170 in clean and jerk and finished with a total of 320kg. He finished two kilograms behind the bronze medallist Zaani Mirko of Italy who finished with a total of 322kg, 145kg snatch and 174kg clean and jerk.

Talha lifted 144, 147 and 150. His clean and jerk efforts were (X), 166 and 170.

Talha’s snatch of 150 turned out to be the second best in the competition in 67kg while he remained seventh in clean and jerk.

After the Olympics, Talha’s target is the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championship slated to be held in Singapore from October 20-24. This event also serves as qualifiers for the next year’s Birmingham Commonwealth Games. The top athlete in each group will make it to the Commonwealth Games.

Talha claimed silver in the senior category of the last Commonwealth Weightlifting Championship held in Australia in 2017. He also won gold medals in youth and junior categories of that competition. In 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, he secured bronze.

Talha has started preparation for the Singapore event. “Yes, for the last one week or so I have been seriously working,” he said. “The Singapore event is very important for me and I want to win the gold medal in this event,” he added.

Sports Board Punjab (SBP) has provided new equipment to Talha. “I am thankful to the Punjab government for providing me quality training equipment. I have also been provided with a training facility close to my home which is being renovated. It will be ready for training within a month,” he said.

He said that the mileage he got after superb showing in Tokyo has motivated him further. “The government acknowledged my performance and I am very happy,” Talha said.

“My performance in Tokyo has encouraged the rest of the weightlifters, particularly the young lot, and the youth will raise Pakistan’s flag high in future,” he said.

Asked whether he will request the state for a foreign coach, Talha said he does not need any foreign coach. “Look, for the last three to four years I have been training under the watch of my father and have won several international medals. I don’t think I need a foreign coach ,” he said.