Mirabai Chanu won't lift weights at IWF Grand Prix II Weightlifting 2023, will undergo a dope test to keep Paris Olympics hopes alive

Weightlifting - Commonwealth Games: Day 2
Indian weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu.

Tokyo Olympics silver medalist Mirabai Chanu won't lift at the IWF Grand Prix II Weightlifting 2023 even though she will attend the Doha meet's weigh-in as the event starts on Monday, December 4. The event is a platform for qualification for the Paris Olympics 2024 next year.

The World and Olympic silver medalist is yet to recover from a hip tendonitis injury she sustained at the Asian Games 2023, where she finished fourth in the women's 49kg category. The 29-year-old managed just two lifts out of six attempts to accumulate 191kg. After returning to India from Hangzhou, she went through a three-week rehab period in Patiala and was reported to resume training after a fortnight.

Mirabai Chanu, who is ranked second in the Olympic Qualification Category (OQR) in women's 49kg, will mark her presence at the event only after completing the necessary formalities like undergoing a dope test to remain eligible for the Paris Games.

Which Indian weightlifter to look out for in Mirabai Chanu's absence?

A total of five Indian weightlifters will participate in the IWF Grand Prix II across various weight categories. In Mirabai's absence, the onus will be on Achinta Sheuli and Narayana Ajith to lead India's charge in the Olympic qualifying event. Both of them will compete in the men's 73kg event.

Sheuli won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games 2022 after heaving 313 kg. The Kolkata-born weightlifter has been marred with injuries since that success in Birmingham. He is placed in Group B with an entry weight of 300kg while Ajith will compete in Group C with a starting weight of 290kg.

Manipur's Bindrayani Devi, the silver medalist at the Commonwealth Games last year, will compete in the women's 55kg weight category. Another CWG medal winner Gurdeep Singh will participate in the men's +109kg category. Both women's 55kg and men's +109kg are non-Olympic events.

The eligibility for all weightlifters to qualify for the Paris Olympics are:

  • Should mandatorily participate in the 2023 World Championships (Saudi Arabia) and 2024 World Cup (Thailand).
  • The weightlifter should participate in at least three of the following events - 2022 World Championships, 2023 Continental Championships, 2023 Grand Prix I, 2023 Grand Prix II, and 2024 Continental Championships.
  • A weightlifter's best three performances will be taken into consideration for the final assessment with the International Weightlifting Federation to publish the Olympic Qualification Rating of each weight category after the conclusion of all the qualifying events.

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Edited by Vaishnavi Iyer
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