CHENNAI: More than two weeks after they started training outdoor doing physical fitness and strength exercises at NIS Patiala, Indian lifters are expected to resume weightlifting training from Monday. A total of nine weightlifters — three women including Mirabai Chanu and six men — are stuck at the centre since the nationwide lockdown was clamped on March 25.
“The lifters have been divided into three batches with each batch comprising three athletes including a separate group of women. They have been training separately for one hour in the evening. The outdoor training including physical fitness and strengthening exercises started on May 27. Now they look in good shape to resume weightlifting training,” a source close to the campers said.
The Indian Weightlifting Federation in its standard operating procedure (SOP) recommended separate training platforms and personalised chalk bowls for each lifter. There are 16 training and one competition platform in Patiala.
According to a top IWLF official, training outdoor after being confined to their rooms for nearly two months has lifted their spirits. All they were able to do were routine exercises to stay fit.
Though IWLF secretary Sahadev Yadav refrained from elaborating much on the course of coaching. However, he said weightlifting and more intense training will depend on the coach’s report. “The lifters have started training outside, but everything depends on the how the coach sees the progress of the lifters,” he said.
The batch system will continue as it will help the weightlifters in complying with the social-distancing protocols and other norms issued by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) in mid-May for resuming training for campers stranded at the centres.
It is understood that the centre has enough platforms to ensure the athletes follow the SAI’s SOP strictly, especially maintaining social distancing and hygiene. The athletes will continue to train in batches and if everything goes as per plan, they will have physical fitness session in the morning and weightlifting training in the evening from Monday.
The International Olympic Council has already revised Olympic qualification system for the lifters. The revised system will allow for a further qualification period, which will run from October 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Among the Indian weightlifters, Chanu has already made the Olympic cut.