Rio Olympics 2016: Sathish Kumar and Mirabai Chanu to form India's weightlifting contingent
Weightlifters Sivalingam Sathish Kumar and Saikhom Mirabai Chanu have been named as the male and the female candidates to represent India at the 2016 Rio Olympics after they emerged as favourites at the end of the selection trials conducted by Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF).
The beginning of last month saw India earn two quota berths, one each in men’s and women’s category, for the upcoming Olympics by virtue of their overall performance at the Senior Asian Weightlifting Championships in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Following today’s trials held in Patiala, India will have Sathish competing in the 77 kg weight division for men while Mirabai will contest in women’s 48 kg, a discipline she now holds the standing national record in.
Gold medallist at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, Sathish confirmed his Rio ticket with a final tally of 336 kgs which included 151 kg in snatch and an impressive 185 kgs in clean & jerk. Saikhom Mirabai, on the other hand, went a step further to better her earlier snatch record of 84 kg by an extra kg before finishing with a combined lift of 192 kg that smashed the previous Indian best of 190 kg that her current coach N Kunjarani Devi had achieved in Athens Olympics 2004.
All eyes will now be on these two weightlifters – Sivalingam Sathish Kumar and Saikhom Mirabai Chanu – when they show up in Indian colours to chase Olympic glory at Rio this August.