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Mirabai Chanu assured of Paris Olympics qualification after third-place finish at IWF World Cup

Published at :April 1, 2024 at 8:41 PM
Modified at :April 1, 2024 at 8:41 PM
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(Courtesy : X)

Ajay Gandhar

Official announcement of qualification will be made after the world Cup concludes.

Mirabai Chanu, Tokyo Olympics silver medallist, has taken a significant step toward securing her spot at the Paris Olympics. Chanu, who picked up a thigh injury in the Asian Games 2023 finished third in the women’s 49kg Group B event at the IWF World Cup in Phuket, Thailand.

The IWF World Cup is essential for Olympic-bound athletes, serving as a mandatory participating tournament towards eligibility for the Paris Olympics 2024.

The Reigning Commonwealth Games champion registered a total weight lift of 184 kg (81 kg in snatch and 103 kg in clean and jerk) and qualified in this tournament. Mirabai has now met the Paris Olympic qualification criteria, which requires two compulsory events and three other finals.

Chanu’s performance places her second in the women’s 49kg Olympic Qualification Ranking (OQR), trailing behind China’s Jian HuiHua

The official announcement regarding her qualification will be made after the World Cup concludes, once the OQR is updated. The top 10 lifters from each weight class will secure their spots at the Paris Olympics.

Despite not being at her peak due to the hip tendonitis injury she suffered during the Asian Games in September, Chanu managed to execute five clean lifts. Her snatch and clean and jerk lifts fell short of her personal best efforts. Chanu’s personal best came in the Asian Championships in 2021, where India’s No. 1 Weightlifter in the 49 Kg category lifted an impressive 88 kg in snatch and even set a then-world record of 119 kg in clean and jerk.

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Speaking after the competition Mirabai Chanu said “It feels incredible to come back after an injury. Almost every lift I made today felt clean, clear, and powerful, and I’m leaving this competition feeling strong and confident. The rehabilitation was tough and demanding, but with the support of everyone involved in my rehab and recovery, I pushed through all the complications.

“The journey to get here required relentless dedication and hard work, and I couldn’t be happier being back on the ramp – lifting and competing for my country.

“The goal was to secure my spot for the Paris Olympics, and now that I am almost through for the Paris Olympics, all my attention is on making a mark at the Paris Olympics.”

Speaking on Mirabai’s performance, Coach Mr. Vijay Sharma said “Our entire focus leading up to this event was solely on her (Mirabai’s) rehabilitation. Seeing her perform comfortably today, given she is returning after six months of injury and rehabilitation, makes me proud of all the hard work we have done. Today, she was comfortable and confident in her lifts. 

“Now that we’re almost through, our focus is firmly set on the Paris Olympics 2024. It’s time to channel all our energy into preparing for the main event in Paris.”

The comeback of a 29-year-old weightlifter from Manipur marks the end of a tense period for her. She had to be carried off in her previous competition due to an injury and Her return to competitive sports bodes well for India, particularly considering that she is the sole Indian athlete competing in weightlifting.

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