Time and again at the Rio Olympics, she tried to focus on her lifts, but none of her attempts ended up just right. All she wanted to do was go home and weep under her bedcovers.
Mirabai Chanu, who was touted as one of the brightest medal prospects for India, had failed to lift the weight in any of her three attempts in clean and jerk in the women's 48kg.
Cut to 2021, Mirabai has brushed aside the Rio disappointment and is now focused on winning a long-pending medal for the country. Speaking at a virtual media interaction held by the Sports Authority of India (SAI), Mirabai shed light on her growth since the Rio disappointment.
"Since Rio, I have evolved a lot, I have worked very hard to be more perfect with my technique, especially in clean and jerk,” Mirabai Chanu emphasized.
Last week, Mirabai set the bar high with a world record lift of 119kg in clean and jerk to bag bronze in the 49kg category at the Asian Championships.
No pain, no gain: Mirabai Chanu
Back in 2018, a lower-back injury prompted Mirabai to pull out of the Asian Games and the World Championships. Three years down the line, injuries continue to play a big part in her training routines. With injuries being a decisive factor in the sport, she understands the importance of being fit which will heighten her medal chances in Tokyo.
"It is believed, 'if there is no pain, there is no gain'. I live by that statement. Injuries fuel feelings of frustration and anxiety. But I never let my mind suffer for that. It's up to us how we view the injury and what we make of it. If we overthink, we will end up building pressure upon ourselves. That would also somehow then impact the process of recovery. Injury is an inevitable consequence of participation in sport, we have to fight that," she explained.
Mirabai on ending Chinese dominance at the Tokyo Olympics
With North Korea pulling out of the Tokyo Olympics, it is believed to be a good opportunity for Mirabai to strike gold for the country, in case she punches her ticket to Tokyo.
The women's 49kg event will be the most keenly contested with either of the two world champions Hou Zhihui and Jiang Huihua seen as China's biggest threats in the discipline. High on confidence, Mirabai will seek to end the dominance of Chinese weightlifters at the Olympics.
"It (Chinese dominance) does not matter to me. If they can do it, I can too. I can do as much as them. I will fight them with all my might. I consider myself on the same page as them, in terms of talent. I know I can do my best," she signed off.