Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Saikhom Mirabai Chanu has only one long-term wish – she just wants to win an Olympic medal. For the last four years, Mirabai has been preparing for the Tokyo Olympics, now scheduled to be held in Summer 2021. Chanu has now sealed the berth for the Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games, based on her current world rankings, Indian weightlifting federation President Sahdev Yadav confirmed.

Top eight weightlifters from each weight class qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. Mirabai is currently ranked 8th in the International Weighlifting Federation ranking lists. Chanu was heartbroken when she first heard that the Olympics, which was scheduled to be held on July 24 to August 9, 2020, has been postponed for a year due to the pandemic.

Key Takeaways:

  • Mirabai Chanu has sealed a berth for Tokyo Olympics based on her current world rankings. 
  • Top-8 athletes from International Weightlifting Federation ranking list are eligible to participate in the Tokyo Olympics.
  • Mirabai Chanu is ranked 8th is ranked 2nd in the IWF list. She has been preparing for the Games for the last four years.

Talking about how the current situation is not affecting the athletes in their training programs, President Yadav said, “They are safe and secure, only one athlete per room. They are training as discussed with the coaches and the Sports Authority of India.” The Indian weightlifting camp is based at the NIS Patiala. “The lifters have been given around 25 kg weights to do some amount of training. There is no need to be going full throttle now,” said Sahdev Yadav.

Earlier this year, Chanu broke her own national record in the National Weightlifting Championships, by lifting a total of 203 kg to win the 49 kg gold. She lifted 2 kg more weight than she lifted last time.

“Had they gone back home to their respective states it could be unpredictable because of COVID-19. Here, we know they are in safe confines,” said Yadav.

Mirabai’s previous best of 201 kg had come at the World Championship in Thailand in September last year, where she had finished fourth.

Talking about Chanu’s return, he said, “We will let Mirabhai compete in it more for practice. I am hopeful a few more Indians can qualify and we have high hopes from Rakhi Halder, who did well at the national championship. I am also hopeful about Ajay Singh He can also make the cut. These two will have enough chances to qualify when the next competition cycle begins.”

“Chanu was out for a long time because of back injury and from now till the date of the Tokyo Olympics, she will have good time to be at her best.”

The Manipur weightlifter finished fourth in the 49 kg event at the Asian Weightlifting Championship in April last year, where she lifted 199 kg (86kg+113kg) but missed a medal. However, she won the women’s 49 kg category and brought home a gold medal from the Sixth Qatar International Cup in Doha, late last year.

New challenges arise for Mirabai as now she has to better her personal best, to improve her total effort of 203 kg (88kg+115kg).

She had earlier withdrawn from the 2018 Asian Games and World Championship, stating that she needed some time to prepare for the big Olympic qualifier.

READ:Who Is Mirabai Chanu? Know More About This Manipuri Sensation

Feature Image Credit: dailypasban.com

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