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Mirabai Chanu breaches 200kg-mark, finishes 4th at Worlds

Mirabai Chanu improved her personal best to 201 kg at the World Weightlifting Championship, also setting a new national record. She failed to finish on the Worlds podium, but with only one Chinese lifter set to go to the next Olympics, Mirabai is in good stead to grab a medal at Tokyo 2020.

Mirabai Chanu registered a total lift of 201 kg at the World Weightlifting Championship on Thursday (Twitter/SAI_Media)

Mirabai Chanu improved her personal best to 201 kg at the World Weightlifting Championship in Pattaya on Thursday, finishing fourth in the 49-kg weight category. Her previous best had been 199 kg.

She lifted 87 kg in her snatch attempt (a personal best), 114 kg in the clean and jerk attempt (also a personal best) to register a total of 201 kg. This is a new national record as well.

Two Chinese lifters and one North Korean lifter registered heavier lifts than Mirabai. However, with only one Chinese lifter likely to go to the next Olympics, Mirabai is in good stead to grab a medal at Tokyo 2020 – going by the results on Thursday.

The gold medal went to Jiang Huihua of China, who set a new world record with an effort 212kg (94kg+118kg). The earlier record was held by Hou Zhihui of China, who had lifted 210kg.

Zhihui clinched the silver medal, lifting 211kg (94kg+117kg). North Korea’s Ri Song Gum claimed the final spot on the podium by lifting 204kg (89kg+115kg), 3kg more than Mirabai.

From Rio to Tokyo

Though Mirabai could not manage a podium finish at the Worlds, breaching the 200-mark on such a big stage will also serve to give her confidence to chart her course to redeem her Rio Olympics performance in Tokyo next year.

The 200-kg mark, which is seen as a safe tally for a lifter to medal at the Olympics next year, given only a handful have managed to achieve the feat, had remained elusive for Mirabai thus far.

She came agonizingly close to achieving it at the Asian Championships earlier this year, where she lifted 199 kg, her previous personal best.

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Chanu, who won the Commonwealth Games gold last year, spent the most of 2018 nursing a lower back injury that kept her out of action for nearly nine months. After that, she had to jump from 48kg to 49kg following the International Weightlifting Federation’s (IWF) decision to rejig weight categories. Since her return, Chanu has logged personal bests at three of the four events that she has competed this year.

First published on: 19-09-2019 at 06:42:13 pm
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