Mirabai Chanu decides to participate only in weigh-in of World Championships ahead of Asian Games

Mirabai Chanu won
Mirabai Chanu won't lift in World Championships, just participate (Image via WFI)

Olympic medalist Mirabai Chanu has revealed her strategic decision about her partaking in the forthcoming World Weightlifting Championships in Riyadh.

Rather than competing, she will be only present at the event, mainly to fulfil obligatory protocols, such as doping tests if needed, while abstaining from lifting weights. This decision arises from her emphasis on readying for the upcoming Asian Games and the necessity to avoid possible injuries that could impede her form.

The proximity of the two prestigious events, the World Championships planned for September 4 in Riyadh and the Asian Games beginning less than 20 days later in Hangzhou, China, on September 23, marks a notable challenge for athletes striving to shine at both competitions. Head coach Vijay Sharma shared insights into Mirabai's approach, underscoring her partaking in Riyadh exclusively for attendance intentions.

Mirabai Chanu has a great track record, including a gold medal in the 2017 edition of the World Championships. Her decision to restrict her role in Riyadh is attributed to the tough 2024 Olympic qualification rule, demanding one lifter's participation in both the 2023 World Championships and the 2024 World Cup.

Mirabai is presently training in St. Louis, USA, under the assistance of Dr. Aaron Horschig, and has enlisted an entry weight of just 60kg for the World Championships.

The reason behind Mirabai Chanu's strategic decision

This strategic preference aligns with her aspiration to nail a medal at the Asian Games, the only recognition missing from her celebrated career. The weightlifting competition at the Asian Games is expected to be highly competitive, making this achievement even more meaningful for her.

The decision to save Mirabai Chanu from possible injuries was underscored by IWLF president Sahdev Yadav. Provided the need for her to loosen her weight to reach 49kg before the Paris Olympics, contending frequently would be inadequate for her preparations.

In addendum to this year's World Championships and the 2024 World Cup, Olympic competitors must partake in three of the subsequent events to meet the tough qualification benchmarks: the 2022 World Championships, the 2023 Continental Championships, the 2023 Grand Prix 1, the 2023 Grand Prix II, and the 2024 Continental Championships.

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) will assemble the Olympic Qualification Ranking (OQR) for each weight category at the end of the qualification course. It will take into consideration of the best three performances at these qualifying contests for the final inspection.

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Edited by Tejas Rathi
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