World champion and Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Mirabai Chanu has performed her personal best but missed the podium by a whisker. The 25-year-old weightlifter from Manipur finished fourth in the 49kg event at the Asian Weightlifting Championship here Sunday.

Mirabai lifted 86kg in snatch and a personal best of 113kg in clean and jerk for a total of 199kg, upgrading on her earlier personal best total in 49kg which was 192kg in the EGAT Cup in Thailand in February. This was Mirabai’s second international competition in this category.

The gold medal went to Hou Zhihui of China, her collective effort was of 208kg (92kg+116kg).

Mirabai’s injury

Mirabai was on a break for almost four months. Now fully recovered from a severe lower back injury, the weightlifter stayed at a rehabilitation center in Mumbai for months. Mirabai has now set a target for Tokyo Olympics 2020. Everyday 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 weight bar in the forthcoming Asian Championship. So I have set it for the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Looking at the figure everyday I feel motivated,” she said, 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She had earlier withdrawn from the 2018 Asian Games and World Championship, stating that she needed some time to prepare for the big Olympic qualifiers.

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

“More importantly they are going to be my opponents again in the upcoming international meets. So watching the top weightlifters on TV has helped me a lot in my preparation.” the Manipuri said earlier. She comes from a financially challenged family with her father working as a lower level employee at the Public Works Department in Imphal while her mother runs a small shop in their village.

On resuming training, she said, I have competed with Asian weightlifters at the Rio Olympics and 2017 World Championship. I have followed their performance at the Asian Games. All of them have matured a lot, changing their style and technique. It has helped me immensely after I resumed training.”

Career graph so far

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, ending India’s 22-year wait for 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 occurred when clinched gold at the Commonwealth Senior Weightlifting Championships held in Australia, 2017. This earned her a 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 a silver while competing in the 48 kg category.

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