CHENNAI: Mirabai Chanu’s return to the big stage turned out to be eventful, although not very profitable. Considering that she is a former world champion, a fourth place finish in the Asian Weightlifting Championship in Ningbo, China, cannot be counted as a big achievement for her.But she did pick up a bronze in the clean and jerk round while also bettering her personal best.
With her Olympic qualification campaign on track, Mirabai should be reasonably satisfied with the returns from her second competition after recovering from a back injury, which kept her out of last year’s World Championships and Asian Games.
She came back with a gold medal at the EGAT Cup in Thailand in February, which was also her first outing in the 49kg category after switching from 48kg.
The 24-year-old from Manipur lifted 86kg in snatch and a personal best of 113 in clean and jerk for a total of 199kg. Her earlier best in 49kg was 192kg at the EGAT Cup.
China’s Zhang Rong also finished with 199kg (88+111), but was ranked third under the competition rules, which state that the competitor with a lower clean and jerk result effort will be ranked higher in the classification of athletes for total lift. The gold medal went to Hou Zhihui of China (208kg, 92+116). North Korea’s Ri Song-gum clinched silver (200kg, 86+114).
Mirabai began her clean and jerk with a lift of 109kg and then managed 113kg. But in her third attempt, she could not lift 115kg and that cost her a place on the podium. Had she been successful in that attempt, she would have won silver with a total of 201kg.
A small consolation for the 2017 world champion was bronze in clean and jerk. Medals are not awarded separately in snatch, clean and jerk and total lift at the Olympics. But there are medals for these at the World Championships and other competitions, which meant that Mirabai did not return empty-handed.
Jeremy on record spree
Youngster Jeremy Lalrinnunga put in a stunning performance while finishing second in group B in the men’s 67kg event.
The 16-year-old from Mizoram smashed youth world and Asian records in snatch, clean and jerk and total lift with an effort of 297kg (134+163). The final standings in this event will be known after the group A competition on Monday.
In all, Jeremy broke 15 records, combining national and international marks. He bettered three youth world and three youth Asian and nine national records — three youth national, three junior national and three senior national. The total of 297kg was 9kg more than his own youth world record set at the EGAT cup, where he won the silver medal.
Jhili Dalabehera won silver in the women’s 45kg, which is not a Olympic weight category.