After Rio blow, gold at World Championships for Mirabai Chanu

 

Written by Mihir Vasavda
| Bhubaneshwar |
Printed: December 1, 2017 three:56 am


mirabai chanu wins gold medal at world championships Saikhom Mirabai Chanu after lifting 109kg in jerk. (PTI Photograph)

For somewhat over a yr, weightlifter Mirabai Chanu has been battling frequent bouts of despair. Not a day has handed with out her changing into wistful about that sombre August day in Rio final yr, when her Olympic dream was shattered due to her three failed lifts. The DNF (Did Not End) in opposition to her identify was a tough blow for India’s huge Olympic hope. And it took a 194-kg raise to get that weight off her shoulders.

On Wednesday, the 23-year-old weightlifter from Manipur grow to be solely the second Indian, after Karnam Malleswari in 1994 and 1995, to win a World Championships medal.

Chanu, who weighs simply 48 kg, lifted 109 kg in clean-and-jerk (in two motions), earlier than managing the most effective effort of 85 kg in snatch (in a single clean movement) on the occasion in Anaheim, in the US. The mixed whole of 194 kg was higher than Thailand’s Thunya Sukcharoen.

“The Olympics were a disaster. I couldn’t sleep or eat for several weeks after that. Even today, I get depressed thinking about that day,” stated Chanu, chatting with The Indian Specific from Anaheim. “Thankfully, the country was sleeping during my worst moment.” On Wednesday, most of India was asleep throughout her greatest second too.

Chanu has lengthy been billed as Indian weightlifting’s subsequent star. Impressed by Kunjarani Devi, she began lifting weights quickly after the Athens Olympics. It was simply bamboo canes for the primary six months, earlier than she moved onto an iron bar. At 11, she was already the under-15 nationwide champion. And at 17, she was the junior champion, which earned her a nationwide group call-up. Chanu was then coached by her idol, Kunjarani. Final yr, she broke Kunjarani’s snatch nationwide document, set in 2004, and equalled the entire raise document of 190 kg to win the Asian Championship. That efficiency, simply 2 kg shy of the Olympic silver-medal mark, put her within the limelight. “Those performances weren’t satisfying for me. Like Kunjarani Devi, I too wanted to perform in the Olympics,” stated Chanu. Her coach, Vijay Sharma, stated she started lifting 190-plus totals routinely throughout coaching, which made her a contender for the medal on the Rio Olympics. However she froze on the largest stage of all. She was one of many two who couldn’t end her occasion, failing to raise the barbell in all three clean-and-jerk makes an attempt.

“She became so depressed that it became tough for us to control… We had been preparing for almost two years and were really hoping for a medal. So after Rio, she went home for five days, returned to Patiala (national training centre) and never went back again,” stated Sharma. “For 14 months, we have been practicing daily for this event.”

China has been the dominant nation within the 48-kg class. They’ve gained 11 of the final 12 titles. However, together with 9 different nations, China was slapped with a year-long ban after the IWF determined to take motion in opposition to nations with three or extra optimistic dope exams from the re-examination of the Beijing and Rio samples. With China out, the competitors was between India and Thailand. “We knew Mirabai had the physical capacity to lift heavy weights, but I was keen to know if she was mentally strong, since that was her undoing in Rio,” stated Sharma. To encourage her, Sharma confirmed her movies of competitions the place she carried out nicely, each evening for the final one week.

On Wednesday, Chanu was trailing Sukcharoen by 1 kg after the snatch occasion. In clean-and-jerk, her first problem was to make sure there have been no defective lifts. The second was to up the stakes. “At the Commonwealth Championships (in September), I had lifted 189 kg for gold. I knew I had to increase the weight here,” she stated. Regardless of two profitable lifts of 103 kg and 107 kg, she was nonetheless behind by 1 kg. So, in her ultimate try, she determined to raise 109 kg. “If I failed, I would have lost the gold. So it was crucial to get it right,” she stated. As she walked to the stage, she stated, photographs from Rio flashed earlier than her eyes. To take care of her weight, Chanu hadn’t eaten since morning. She was ravenous. “But I closed my eyes and just focused on lifting the barbell,” she stated. Her arms trembled, however Chanu didn’t flinch. She accomplished the raise and, for the primary time, allowed herself a smile. She’d accomplished her half. Now, her Thai competitor needed to match the raise. “I couldn’t watch it. Moments later, Coach came and hugged me. That’s how I got to know I’d won the gold,” she says. “Now, I will see a different image when I close my eyes. And finally, I can go home.”

Weight off her shoulders

Early bloomer

Chanu was all the time forward of her friends. At 11 itself, she was already the under-15 nationwide champion. And at 17, she was the junior champion, which earned her a nationwide group call-up.

Beating her idol

Chanu took up weightlifting impressed by Kunjarani Devi. Final yr, she broke Kunjarani’s snatch nationwide document, and equalled the document of 190 kg to win the Asian Championship

Rio catastrophe

Chanu was India’s greatest wager for a medal on the Video games however she panicked on the greatest stage. was one of many two who couldn’t end her occasion, failing to raise the barbell in all three clean-and-jerk makes an attempt.

194Kg – Whole weight Chanu lifted general — 109 kg in clean-and-jerk, earlier than managing the most effective effort of 85 kg in snatch.

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