India had a terrific start to their medal run on the first day of the Commonwealth Games on Thursday with weightlifters Mirabai Chanu and P Gururaja clinching a gold and a silver medal, respectively. Chanu, who went on to smash Games records for snatch, clean and jerk and the overall weightlift, spoke to media after her win and talked about her woes regarding not having her physio along with her at the event.
“I don’t have a physio with me here in the competition. He was not allowed here, I did not get enough treatment coming into the competition. There is nobody, we did tell officials but nothing happened,” she said after lifting a total weight of 196 kg (86 kg + 110 kg) to win the first gold for India in this year’s Commonwealth Games.
Chanu further added that she has requested the presence of her physio but so far the request has not been granted. “I had requested that my physio be allowed but he has not been allowed. But we are helping each other and managing so far,” she said.
Gururaja, who lifted a total weight of 249 kg with 111 kg in Snatch and 138 kg in Clean-and-Jerk to win the silver in Men’s 56 kg weightlifting event, further spoke to reporters about the problems he has faced in the absence of his physio in Gold Coast. “I’ve sustained multiple injuries. My physio is not here, so I haven’t been able to get the treatment that I need for my knee and sciatic nerve,” he said.
Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Secretary General Rajeev Mehta said the IOA cleared only those officials which were finalised by the Indian Weightlifting Federation. “Despite their late request we got a B category accreditation for the physio, which at least allows him access to the athletes if not competition. It was IWF’s responsibility to tell us which support staff they wanted,” Mehta told PTI.
The Sports Ministry had earlier ordered that the number of officials for Indian contingent should not be more than 33 per cent of the total number of athletes. Due to the ruling, several athletes have complained about their preferred support staff not being included in the official India contingent.
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