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Monday, June 5, 2023

Olympic Silver Medalist Mirabai Chanu Sets Sight on Second World Championship Title

Indian weightlifter Mirabai Chanu won the silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and is now gearing up for her second world championship title

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Divya Dhadd
Divya Dhadd

INDIA: Winning silver at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics was a “dream come true” for Indian weightlifter Mirabai Chanu, but the high of the win has not distracted her from her next goal. The intrepid Manipuri has now turned her focus on winning a second world championship title and is glistening her armour ahead of the event. 

In the 2017 world championship, Chanu brought home a gold, but since then her victory in the championship has been on pause. In 2018, she gave the tournament a miss due to a back issue hence couldn’t retain her title and in 2019, she missed the bronze narrowly. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, last year the event was called off, however, this year the world championship is set to make a comeback with double the vigour, and so is Chanu. The tournament is scheduled to take place between December 7 to 17 in Tashkent. 

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In a statement to PTI, Chanu said that she is working on her shortcomings and weaknesses in the training techniques. She added that she will be trying her best to become a world champion for the second time.

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Chanu successfully heaved 119 kg in the Asian Championship last year, making a world record in the clean and jerk event in the 49 kg category. However, in the snatch section, the 27-year-old struggled to stay at par with her Chinese opponents due to an imbalance issue that affects her right shoulder and back.  

Chanu says that with a world record in clean and jerk, she now intends to focus on the snatch section in the world championships.

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“I have to increase my weight in the snatch section,” she said.

After consulting Dr Aaron Horschig, a former weightlifter-turned-physical therapist in the U.S., Chanu says that there has been an immense improvement from before, which also helped Chanu win the silver medal at Tokyo. Although the issue is sorted, Chanu still feels the pain because of the imbalance, while lifting heavy weights. 

As of now, Chanu has no plans to go to the U.S. because of the world championship scheduled for December.

Chanu’s personal best is 205 kg and is striving to catch up with her rivals by next year. Olympic gold medalist Hou Zhihui of China currently holds the world record (total weight) with 213 kg.

“I have to go above 210 kg anyhow. My aim is to reach 213-214 kg at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games,” said the Olympic silver medalist.


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