Nooh wins gold in World Junior Championships

KARACHI: Pakistan’s wonder boy Nooh Dastagir Butt becomes the first youngster from the country to ever win a gold medal at the International Weightlifting federation 2018 World Junior Championships.

Nooh lifted 228 kg in the clean and Jerk competition of the +105kg event in Tashkent on Saturday.

He bagged three medals; one gold and two bronze in the heaviest weight category at the championships where he was the sole player representing the country.

He beat Iran’s Ali Davodi by a kilogram and Armenia’s Varazdat Lalayan by six kgs in the clean and jerk competition, while he claimed bronze in the overall category as both Iran and Armenia were first and second respectively.

Nooh lifted a total of 399 kgs with 171 kgs in snatch and 228 in clean and jerk and claimed another bronze in snatch separately. This was Pakistan’s debut at the championship.

“He has just created history,” the Pakistan Weightlifting Federation (PWLF) vice president Rashed Malik told The Express Tribune. ” He’s done something that no one has done before, even at the seniors’ level, we have never won a medal at the world championships, he really is improving fast.”

Weightlifter Nooh breaks Commonwealth Games record

Athlete also lifted a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year and Malik feels it has been a long journey but the youngster has found his confidence.

“If he had lifted the same amount of weights in Commonwealth Games, we would’ve been the gold medalists, but he is young, and he is taking steps in the right direction.”

Further praising the young athlete Malik added: “In fact with this performance in Tashkent he has made a statement, he was our only weightlifter at the event,” said Malik.

Malik believes Nooh can be Pakistan’s first weightlifter to win an Olympic gold medal. By winning the gold in clean and jerk Nooh has exhinited an improvement in strength and speed; lifting 222kgs in Commonwealth Games to 228kgs in the recent chamionships.

Suggesting that training the kids for the past few years has been rewarding, Malik said: “We’ve been grooming these kids since 2014, with the ultimate goal in our mind, and we’ve kept the weightlifters engaged in regular camp and activities just like European atheltes, so this is a great return, and there will be more,” said Malik.

Malik hopes that Nooh and another youngster Talha Talib will win medals in the Asian Games month as well.  There are 22 athletes in the ongoing national camp in Islamabad. Nooh will return to Pakistan on July 18.


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