TODAY -

Mirabai sole Indian weightlifter to qualify for Paris Olympics
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, April 02 2024: Manipur's Mirabai Chanu, the Tokyo Olympics silver medallist and reigning Commonwealth Games champion, has sealed her berth for the Paris Olympics 2024m becoming the only weightlifter from India to secure a spot for the quadrennial event.

Her qualification follows an outstanding performance at the IWF World Cup held in Phuket, where she finished third in Group B of the women's 49kg division.

Overcoming challenges stemming from a six-month injury-enforced hiatus, Mirabai demonstrated lifted total of 184kg, including 81kg in snatch and 103kg in clean & jerk.

Expressing her satisfaction, Mirabai remarked, "The journey to get here required relentless dedication and hard work, and I couldn't be happier being back on the ramp - lifting and competing for my country" .

However, the path ahead for Mirabai in Paris is expected to be demanding, as she will face tough competition from formidable opponents.

Notably, she will face top-notch contenders such as Chinese lifters Jiang Huihua and Hou Zhihui, alongside North Korea's Ri Song Gum, a world record holder boasting an impressive total lift of 221 kg.

With her qualification, Mirabai has secured the No 2 spot in the IWF ranking charts, a testimony to her consistent performance at prestigious events, including the 2022 World Championships, 2023 Asian Championships, and the 2024 World Cup.

Mirabai Chanu, an Olympic silver medallist, world champion, and three-time Commonwealth Games gold-medallist, stands as one of India's most illustrious weightlifters.

Her silver medal at Tokyo 2020 marked only the second Olympic medal by an Indian weightlifter, following Karnam Malleswari's achievement.

Additionally, Mirabai became the second Indian woman, after PV Sindhu, to secure an Olympic silver medal.

Mirabai's journey from lifting firewood as a child to gracing international podiums is nothing short of remarkable.

Hailing from Nongpok Kakching, a village in Imphal, she showcased her lifting prowess at a young age, effortlessly carrying bundles of firewood home, a task too heavy for her elder brother.

Initially drawn to archery, Mirabai stumbled upon a weightlifting hall at a local sports complex in Imphal, where her natural talent for the sport became evident.

Inspired by India's legendary weightlifter Kunjarani Devi, Mirabai embarked on her journey to greatness.

Her international breakthrough came at the age of 20, clinching a silver medal in the 48kg category at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland.

Subsequently, at the 2017 World Weightlifting Championships in Anaheim, USA, Mirabai made history by becoming the first Indian weightlifter in over two decades to secure a gold medal.

Continuing her dominance, Mirabai claimed gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, setting new records in the snatch', clean and jerk', and 'total' categories.

Further solidifying her stature, Mirabai set a new world record in the clean and jerk with a lift of 119kgs at the 2021 Asian Weightlifting Championships in Tashkent.

Earlier, in March, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS), through the Mission Olympic Cell (MOC), approved weightlifter Mirabai Chanu's proposal to train at LA FERTE-MILON, Paris, in preparation for the upcoming Olympic Games.

Mirabai Chanu will travel to Paris nearly a month prior to her Olympic event to adapt to the weather conditions and fine-tune her preparations for the mega event.

During the Paris training camp, Mirabai will be accompanied by two coaches and a physiotherapist.

The expenses for air tickets, visa costs, accommodation charges, food, training costs, local transport costs, medical insurance, and sauna charges, among others, will be covered under the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) funding.

(With inputs from agencies) .


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