Achinta Sheuli, N Ajith focussed on the World Championships after missing the Asian Games selection

Achinta Sheuli (left) and N Ajith (right) will be in action for World Championships (Photos: SAI Media)
Achinta Sheuli (left) and N Ajith (right) will be in action for World Championships (Photos: SAI Media)

Indian Commonwealth Games gold medalist Achinta Sheuli and Commonwealth Championships Gold medalist N Ajith could not make the cut for the upcoming Asian Games 2023. However, both lifters are ready to leave the disappointment behind and work towards the Riyadh World Championships, beginning on September 4.

The lifters, who participated in the 73kg men's category, did not meet the selection criteria for the Hangzhou Asian Games and have not been cleared by the Sports Ministry of India.

Talking to PTI about his exclusion, N Ajith said that he is confident of a good show at the World Championships which could get him back in the Asian Games squad.

"I am focussed on giving my best there next month," said Ajith. "Maybe, I’ll get to go to the Asian Games if I do well in Championships."

The selection for the men's 73 kg category took place based on their performances in this year's Asian Championships in South Korea. Both the lifters had a disappointing outing in the Championships, which saw them finish in the 9th and 10th position, respectively.

Ajith lifted a total of 307kg (139kg + 168kg) to finish in the 9th spot. The Commonwealth Games gold medalist Achinta Sheuli, on the other hand, managed only a total of 305kg (140kg + 165kg) to finish 10th.

Achinta Sheuli's battle with injuries

Achinta Sheuli's recent performances were deeply affected by the series of injuries. After winning the Commonwealth Games gold medal, the West Bengal lifter had to withdraw from last year's World Championships in Bogota due to a hamstring injury. The lifter had to pull out at the last moment after feeling discomfort with his hamstring during the warm-ups.

After recovering from the injury, Sheuli had back issues which had stopped him from being his best. However, the Indian lifter had made peace with his exclusion from the Asian Games and is all set to concentrate on the World Championships. Talking to PTI, Sheuli said that he wants his performance to do the talking.

"I want to let my performance do the talking for me. So, I have to put up a good display at the World Championships," he said.

With the exclusion of Ajith and Achinta Sheuli, the Indian weightlifting squad will not have a male lifter. Only Mirabhai Chanu and Bindyarani Devi have been cleared by the Ministry.

However, a better show at the upcoming World Championships could make the Ministry reconsider the selections of Ajith and Achinta. The World Championships, which will begin on September 4, is a compulsory event for the 2024 Paris Olympics Qualification.

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Edited by Tejas Rathi
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