JINJU, May 5
Star Indian weightlifter Mirabai Chanu’s Asian Championship campaign did not go as per plan as she faltered in snatch and chose not to make her last two clean and jerk attempts to finish sixth in Jinju, Korea on Friday.
The Tokyo Olympics silver medallist, competing in the 49kg category, managed to lift 85kg in snatch and 109kg in clean and jerk for an overall effort of 194kg, a whopping 13kg less than her personal best of 207kg.
Chanu started the snatch with an 85kg lift, which she executed perfectly.
She then set a weight of 88kg as she attempted to match her personal best. The Manipuri, however, failed to heave the barbell in her next two attempts and had to be content with an 85kg total in snatch.
Four lifters had better snatch results than Chanu, all lifting 90kg or above.
While Chanu herself has been trying to breach the 90kg-mark in snatch since 2020, head coach Vijay Sharma had told PTI that the former world champion was unlikely to attempt the coveted lift here.
The last time Chanu competed at the Asian Championships in 2021, she had returned home with a bronze medal and a world record in clean and jerk (119kg).
However this time, she only attempted a 109kg lift before deciding not to go for her final two attempts, the reason for which is not known yet.
Sharma has said several times earlier that the aim is to peak at the Asian Games later this year. A medal at the continental multi-sport event is the only one missing from the Manipuri’s trophy cabinet.
China’s Jiang Huihua won the gold medal with a total lift of 207kg (94kg+113kg). She attempted to break Chanu’s world reord of 119kg with a lift of 120kg in her final clean and jerk attempt.
Tokyo Olympics gold medallist Hou Zhihui finished second as she heaved 204kg (93kg+111kg) while Thailand’s Serodchana Khambao 200kg (90kg+110lg) bagged the bronze medal.
The ongoing championship is one of the qualifying events for the 2024 Paris Olympics, where weightlifting events will be cut from 14 at Tokyo Games to 10.
However, it is an additional event and not a compulsory one.
Under the 2024 Olympic qualification rule, a lifter has to compulsorily compete in the 2023 World Championships and the 2024 World Cup.
Apart from the two above, a lifter also has to participate in three of the following events -- the 2022 World Championships, the 2023 Continental Championships, the 2023 Grand Prix 1, the 2023 Grand Prix II and the 2024 Continental Championships.
The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) will publish the Olympic Qualification Rating (OQR) of each weight category at the end of the qualification period.
A weightlifter’s best three performances at the qualifying events will be taken into account for final assessment.