Indian weightlifting star Mirabai Chanu’s hopes for a successful campaign at the Asian Weightlifting Championship were dashed on Friday as she faltered in the snatch and chose not to make her last two clean and jerk attempts, resulting in a fifth-place finish. Chanu, who won a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics in the 49kg category, managed to lift 85kg in the snatch and 109kg in the clean and jerk, ending with a total weight of 194kg. This was 13kg less than her personal best of 207kg, which she set at the 2019 World Championship.
Despite her disappointing performance, Chanu expressed gratitude for the opportunity to compete and promised to work harder for future events. “I gave my best, but it was not enough today,” she said. “I will take this as a learning experience and come back stronger next time.”
Chanu, who is widely regarded as one of India’s brightest medal prospects at the 2024 Paris Olympics, has been preparing for the Asian Championship for months. She had expressed confidence in her ability to perform well and had set her sights on winning gold.
However, the competition proved to be challenging for Chanu, who struggled with the snatch from the beginning. She failed to lift 87kg in her first attempt and had to settle for 85kg in her second attempt. In the clean and jerk, Chanu managed to lift 109kg in her first attempt but chose not to make her last two attempts, citing discomfort in her shoulder.
Despite her disappointment, Chanu’s coach Vijay Sharma praised her for her efforts and said that he was confident that she would bounce back. “Mirabai is a champion athlete, and she has shown that time and again,” he said. “This is just a minor setback, and I am sure she will come back stronger.”
The Asian Weightlifting Championship is one of the most prestigious events in the sport and attracts top athletes from across the continent. Chanu’s fifth-place finish is a reminder of the intense competition that she will face in the lead-up to the Paris Olympics.
Despite her setback, Chanu remains a top contender for a medal at the Olympics. She won India’s first medal in weightlifting in over two decades at the Tokyo Games and has been consistently performing well in international events.