Despite wrist injury, Mirabai wins gold with ease in the 49kg category
Despite wrist injury, Mirabai wins gold with ease in the 49kg category: As is her custom, Mirabai Chanu waited until her competitors were done before taking the stage.
After that, the Olympic gold medalist needed only a few lifts, as is usual for her in competitions where there are no Chinese lifters.
To everyone paying attention, Chanu’s victory in the 49-kilogram division of the National Games was a clear conclusion. It was hardly shocking that she would accomplish this with such ease.
Chanu only required two attempts in both the snatch and clean and jerk parts to win the competition.
But that wasn’t only because she was an Indian woman and the rest of the lifters were men.
Chanu wasn’t trying to win a medal or set a world record—she was just trying to keep herself safe.
The lifter damaged her left wrist in practice a month ago.
Chanu said she did not want to take any chances by lifting high weights or taking any extra risks at the National Games because the injury had worsened over the previous week and she had played down any concerns that it would get worse.
She claimed a “little difficulty” in her left wrist for a month. “The magnetic resonance imaging scans revealed load-related damage. So, to make sure the discomfort doesn’t increase, I did two sets of reps, with the World Championship as my primary focus.
Indeed, the World Championship that will be held in Bogota, Colombia’s capital city, from December 5 to 16 is the most important thing for Chanu, the 2017 world champion.
Besides the obvious bragging rights, this is a necessary first step toward making it to the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
All weightlifters are required to participate in the 2023 World Championship and the 2024 World Cup per the rules of the International Weightlifting Federation.
This year’s World Championships is one of five competitions the international governing body has sanctioned between December 2022 and April 2024, and athletes are required to participate in three of them.
After the April 28, 2024 qualification period ends, a rankings list will be compiled based on performances in these tournaments. The winners of the Olympic quota spots will be determined based on it.
Athletes can satisfy the requirement that they participate only by showing up, participating in the weigh-in, and taking part in the formal introduction, as stated in the rules.
But for an injury-prone player like Chanu, this implies that peak fitness throughout the qualifying window is essential.
She displayed this on Friday at the National Games by being unusually cautious.
The Manipuri athlete lifted a total of 191 kg, including 84 kg in the snatch and 107 kg in the clean and jerk, to win the gold medal, beating out Sanjita Chanu of her home state, who totaled 187 kg (snatch 82 kg, C&J 105 kg), and Sneha Soren of Odisha, who lifted 169 kg (snatch 73kg, C&J 96kg).
However, Chanu’s total was significantly lower than her personal bests of 88 kilograms in the snatch and 119 kilograms in the clean and jerk, both of which are world records.
This kept me from doing any strenuous lifting” (the injury). After only one rep, I knew I’d won the gold. Again, “the World Championship is the key for me,” she said.
Chanu’s list of ailments is vast, including the shoulder, back, and now the wrist. She hurt her wrist for the same reason she hurt her back a few years ago—she can’t put her finger on it, but she thinks it’s a combination of not getting enough rest and having too many competitions.
Like the back problem, this one came on unexpectedly. It could be the weight, but I don’t know for sure. Since there have been so many competitions, I have had little time to rest.
Perhaps that’s the explanation,” she suggests. I’ve been doing everything I can with the help of my coach and physiotherapist to get over this.
One hour of my daily seven-hour training session is devoted to varying activities, primarily strength training, to keep the injuries at bay. I’ve been trying to take better care of myself.
In the next several weeks, she will put in a lot of extra work in preparation for the World Championships. Midway through October, Chanu will most likely depart for the United States to continue training with coach Vijay Sharma.
By the time the World Championships roll around, she is certain that the wrist will be fully recovered. “90+ kg in snatch and cross my world record (119kg total) in clean and jerk,” she says of her current goals.
Chanu will get even closer to her Chinese competitors if she accomplishes this. But first, she needs to make sure her wound is fully healed.