Mirabai, Indian lifters aim at improving Olympic qualification ranking at Asian Championships | More sports News

JINJU (Korea): Tokyo Olympics silver medal weightlifter Mirabai Chanu will once again spearhead the Indian challenge during the Asian Championships but she’s unlikely to attempt the much-anticipated 90kg snatch lift here on Friday.
The two-time Commonwealth Games champion won silver in her last World Championship outing in December with an overall effort of 200kg (87kg + 113kg).
It was far from her personal best of 207 kg (88 kg + 119 kg) and this time too, the former world champion at 49 kg should not test her limits.
“Mira just has to participate here. We’re going to take it easy,” head coach Vijay Sharma told PTI.
“She’s just going to come in and lift 85kg (snatch)… 110kg (clean and jerk), totals she can easily get,” Sharma added.
That means the wait for the coveted 90kg lift could be longer. Chanu, who suffers from a back problem that affects his snatch, has been trying to break the 90kg mark since 2020.
But with the Olympics still a year away and the Asian Games scheduled for September, Manipuri wants to peak at the right time.
The last time Chanu competed in the event in 2021, she made history by setting a new world record in the clean and jerk category, which still stands.
“We are going to create world records in the Olympic year. She was at her peak the last time she was here because the Olympics were right around the corner. Paris Olympic Games is next year. There’s no point in climaxing now.
“We also have to keep in mind her age, she’s not a child anymore, her body needs to be taken care of more now,” Sharma said of the 28-year-old.
The Indian will renew her rivalry with the Chinese duo of Jiang Huihua and Hou Zhihui, who have the highest entry weights of 205 kg each. Zhihui is the reigning Olympic champion.
Chanu, on the other hand, has the second highest entry weight, along with two other lifters.
In the latest Olympic Qualification Ranking (OQR), Chanu ranks second behind Huihua.
It will also be the first time that Jeremy Lalrinnunga (67kg) and Achinta Sheuli (73kg) will compete in an event since winning gold at the Commonwealth Games last August.
While Jeremy was nursing a thigh injury, Achinta had to pull out of the World Championships in December at the last minute after pulling his hamstring during warm-ups.
The duo will aim to collect the ranking points required to qualify for the Paris Olympics.
Jeremy will continue to compete in the non-Olympic weight class of 67kg. Weightlifter Aizawl was supposed to hit the Olympic weight class of 73kg but decided to wait until after the Asian Games in September.
“Until the Asian Games he will stay in this category (67kg), after that we will change it,” Sharma said.
Commonwealth Games silver medalist Bindyarani Devi also dropped from 59kg to 55kg.
The 24-year-old finished 25th at the Worlds in the 59kg Olympic weight class. However, an injury before the selection trials forced her to return to her original weight class.
Reigning national champions Shubham Todkar (61kg) and Narayana Ajith will make their international debuts.
The Asian Championship is the qualifying event for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, where bodybuilding events will be reduced from 14 at the Tokyo Games to 10.
However, this is an additional and non-mandatory event.
According to the 2024 Olympic qualification rule, an athlete must participate in the 2023 World Championships and the 2024 World Cup.
Apart from the two, the athlete must also participate in three of the events among the 2022 World Championships, 2023 Continental Championships, 2023 Grand Prix 1, 2023 Grand Prix II and 2024 Continental Championships.
Indian team:
Mirabai Chanu (49kg), Bindyarani Devi (55kg), Shubham Todkar (61kg), Jeremy Lalrinnunga (67kg), Achinta Sheuli (73kg), Narayana Ajith (73kg).


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