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A look at Mirabai Chanu’s qualification for Paris Olympics 2024

Published at :May 18, 2024 at 3:09 PM
Modified at :May 18, 2024 at 3:10 PM
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(Courtesy : @narendramodi/X)

Siddharthan P

Chanu secured a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

Mirabai Chanu, India’s star weightlifter, has her sights firmly set on the Paris Olympics 2024. The 29-year-old Manipuri, who opened India’s medal account at the Tokyo Olympics with a silver in the 49kgs category, has all but secured her berth for the upcoming Games.

Having tasted success at the highest level, including a gold at the 2017 World Championships and the 2018 and 2022 Commonwealth Games, Chanu will be aiming to go one better and clinch the elusive Olympic gold in Paris.

With the experience of competing on the biggest stage under her belt, Chanu will be one of India’s strongest medal contenders in France.

How did Mirabai Chanu qualify for the Paris Olympics?

The International Weightlifting Federation has established qualification rules requiring lifters to compete at the 2023 World Championships, the 2024 World Cup and three other major tournaments to qualify for the Paris Olympics. Lifters must also have competed at the 2022 World Championships, the 2023 Asian Championships and the 2024 World Cup and must have registered for the 2023 World Championships and Grand Prix II. Although she completed all the requirements, Chanu did not compete at the latter.

Having fulfilled all the criteria, Chanu has secured her spot at the Paris Olympics. The 29-year-old ranks second in the Olympic Qualification Rankings (OQR) and is a strong contender to bring glory to India.

Mirabhai Chanu’s Journey to Paris Olympics

In each category, 10 lifters from the Olympic Qualification Rankings (OQR) will vie for medals in Paris. Mirabhai Chanu lifted a total of 200 kg—87kgs in the snatch and 113kgs in the clean and jerk—at the World Championships, securing second place in the rankings. However, this performance was not indicative of her true potential, as she has been contending with an injury for the past six months. She was carried off the lifting platform after hurting her hip at the Asian Games.

The athlete from Manipur was unable to compete at the 2023 World Championships due to her injury and she finished a disappointing fifth at the Asian Championships. Facing the possibility of missing the Olympics, she sought treatment from specialist doctors in early 2024, which proved beneficial. She returned to form in time for the 2024 IWF World Cup, where she lifted a total of 184kgs—81kgs in the snatch and 103kgs in the clean and jerk—enough to sustain her Olympic aspirations. Over the next few months, she aims to enhance her fitness and once again ascend to the podium.

Mirabai Chanu’s Olympic Career

Mirabai Chanu made her Olympic debut at Rio 2016, competing in the women’s 48kg event. Despite three attempts at the clean and jerk, she was unsuccessful, preventing her from completing the event. Returning home, she dedicated herself to training, determined to clinch a medal by excelling in the clean and jerk.

Her efforts paid off at the Tokyo Olympics, where she lifted a total of 202kgs—87kgs in the snatch and 115kgs in the clean and jerk—to secure the silver medal. The athlete from Manipur began with an 84kg snatch and improved to an 87kg lift, positioning her for victory. Overcoming her previous setback, she successfully lifted 115kgs in the clean and jerk, ensuring a spot on the podium.

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Major Highlights in Mirabai Chanu’s career

  • Silver Medalist at 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, 49 kg
  • Gold medal at World Championships Anaheim, 48 kg
  • Silver medal at World Championships, 2022 Bogotá, 49 kg
  • Bronze medal at Asian Championships, 2020 Tashkent, 49 kg
  • Gold medal at Commonwealth Games, 2022 Birmingham, 49 kg
  • Gold medal at Commonwealth Games 2018 Gold Coast, 48 kg
  • Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna: Highest sporting honor of India (2018)
  • Padma Shri: Fourth highest civilian award of India (2018)

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