Former World champion and Commonwealth Games gold-medallist Saikhom Mirabai Chanu, competing in the 49 kg category, has gathered 2966.6406 ranking points till now, thus sealing eighth spot in the Olympic qualifiers ranking list released by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) on Thursday. She is looking to seal a berth for the Tokyo Games.

To making the Tokyo 2020 qualifying cut, 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 in at least one gold and silver level event. “The ranking points are based on the number of events a lifter participates in and Mirabai has missed a few competitions, including the World Championship in 2018, due to her back injury,” National coach Vijay Sharma told PTI.

Key Takeaways:

  • Mirabai Chanu sealed eighth spot in the Olympic qualifiers ranking list released by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF). She competes in the women’s 49kg category
  • The 24-year-old Manipuri weightlifter has gathered 2966.6406 ranking points till now, thus adding the points to the final rankings for Tokyo 2020 cut
  • Mirabai who ranks top in the world in her 49kg category, is prepping for Tokyo as the country’s No.1 in her weight division

“But being eighth now is not a problem as after the final rankings list is made in April and the best results will be taken into account,” he added.

The points will reflect on better global rankings as her chances for Tokyo Olympics qualification are pretty high now. However, ranking of each weight category will be released by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) at the end of the qualification cycle in April 2020.

A steady year 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 by a whisker. She also won the women’s 49kg category and brought home a gold medal from the 6th Qatar International Cup in Doha, last month.

Mirabai was on a break for almost four months. Now, fully recovered from a severe lower back injury, the weightlifter stayed at a rehabilitation centre in Mumbai for months. Mirabai has now set a target for Tokyo Olympics 2020.

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 centre in Mumbai for months. Mirabai has now set a target for 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 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.

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 had 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.

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.”

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 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 own 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).

Feature Image Credit: sport.ahram.org.eg

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