CHENNAI: Indian weightlifters Jeremy Lalrinnunga (67kg) and Achinta Sheuli (73kg) will fly to Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on May 18 to take part in the IWF Junior World Championships. The event, slated from May 21 to 31, offers crucial ranking points, which in turn will help Jeremy qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. It is also the first qualifying event for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The Indian squad will also comprise two coaches, a physiotherapist and a masseur.
“Jeremy has a good chance of making the Olympic cut. If he manages to lift 315kg or more, he can surely make the cut but again it all depends on the final rankings which will be announced after the event,” coach Pramod Kumar Sharma, who will accompany the team, told The New Indian Express.
The 18-year-old lifter from Mizoram is in line to secure the continental quota for the Games. However, South Korean lifter Han Myeongmok is ahead of him in the world ranking list. Myeongmok has around 100 Robi points more than his Indian counterpart. Jeremy has a chance to overtake him as the South Korean lifter is not competing in the junior championships. Mirabai Chanu (49kg) is the only Indian weightlifter to qualify for the Games so far. She is currently training in St Louis in the US and will fly directly to Tokyo for the sporting extravaganza.
However, lifting 315kg or more will not be easy for the 2018 Youth Olympic Games champion as Jeremy’s personal best in the international event is 306kg (140kg in snatch and 166kg in clean and jerk). It came at the Qatar International Cup in Doha in 2019. Besides, he developed knee pain while competing in the Asian Championships last month, which may prevent him from giving his best.
“The pain has subsided, but I need time to recover fully. I hope I can give my best in the junior world event and qualify for the Games,” said Jeremy.
Each team member will need to produce a COVID negative certificate obtained 72 hours before the scheduled departure from New Delhi on Tuesday morning. They will also be tested at the Tashkent airport on arrival. It was learnt that the team members will take an RT-PCR test on Saturday evening.
“The COVID protocols are almost similar as the Asian Championships last month. I will also leave with the team as I would be refereeing in the event,” said Sahdev Yadav, secretary-general of the Indian Weightlifting Federation. Speaking on Jeremy’s plan if he qualifies, Yadav said, “We want him to train in the US along with Mirabai. It will be finalised once he qualifies.”