Former World champion and Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Saikhom Mirabai Chanu broke her own national record on Tuesday in the National Weightlifting Championships, by lifting a total of 203kg to win the 49kg gold. She lifted 2kg more weight than she lifted last time.
Mirabai’s previous best of 201kg had come at the World Championship in Thailand in September last year, where she had finished fourth.
Earlier, she sealed the eighth spot in the Olympic qualifiers ranking list, and now looking to seal a berth for the Tokyo Games in 2020. Currently, she is in the fourth place in the world rankings behind Chinese Jiang Huihua (212kg) and Hou Zhihui (211kg) and Korean Ri Song Gum (209kg).
- The 25-year-old Manipur girl lifted 87 kg in snatch in her second attempt and 115 kg in clean and jerk for a total of 203 kg. She competes in the women’s 49 kg category.
- Mirabai’s previous best of 201 kg had come at the World Championship in Thailand in September last year, where she had finished fourth.
- Mirabai who ranks top in the world in her 49kg category, is prepping for the Tokyo Olympics.
Overall, she lifted 88 kg in snatch in her second attempt and 115 kg in clean and jerk for a total of 203 kg. To qualify for Tokyo 2020, a weightlifter should compete in at least one event in each of the three periods of six months (from November 2018 to April 2020), at least six events overall and win at least one gold and silver level event.
A steady graph so far
The 25-year-old weightlifter from Manipur finished fourth in the 49kg event at the Asian Weightlifting Championship in April last year, where she lifted 199kg (86kg+113kg) but missed a medal. However, she won the women’s 49kg category and brought home a gold medal from the 6th Qatar International Cup in Doha, late last year.
Mirabai was on a break for almost four months because of a severe lower back injury. She has now set a target for the Tokyo Olympics 2020. “Every day before going to bed and before the start of my training, I look at the figure. I know it will not be possible for me to cross the 200 kg her own personal weight bar in the forthcoming Asian Championship. So I have set it for the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Looking at the figure every day I feel motivated,” she had explained, The Bridge reported.
She had earlier withdrawn from the 2018 Asian Games and World Championship, stating that she needed some time to prepare for the big Olympic qualifiers.
She is fans’ favourite
Chanu began her weightlifting career in 2007 and came into limelight during the trials of Rio Olympics 2016 weightlifting event in Patiala where she broke the national record of her inspiration Kunjarana Devi. She won her first gold medal at the age of 11. In 2017, Mirabai became the first Indian in over two decades to win a World Championship gold. She won a gold medal at the World Weightlifting Championship in Anaheim, USA. She is also the second Indian to win a gold medal at the event, after Karnam Malleswari.
Her moment of pride came when clinched gold at the Commonwealth Senior Weightlifting Championships held in Australia, 2017. This earned her direct entry to the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The Weightlifter also claimed a gold medal at the 12th South Asian Games in 2016. During 2014 Commonwealth games held in Glasgow, she bagged silver while competing in the 48 kg category. In September last year, bettering her personal record of 199kg, which she had achieved at the Asian Championships in Ningbo, China this April, in the process, she became the first woman weightlifter from the country to breach the mark of 200kg. She lifted a total of 201 (87 in snatch + 114 in clean and jerk) in her weight category — more than four times her body weight. Her earlier national record was 199kg (88kg+111kg).
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