Mirabai Chanu has officially withdrawn from the 2018 Asian Games, providing a severe blow to India’s medal hopes in that weight category.
According to ANI, the weightlifter had asked Indian Weightlifting Federation for time to recover from a back injury. She had specifically requested for a leave to be fit in time for the Olympic Qualifiers.
Chanu’s absence would prove to be a big blow to India’s medal hopes in her particular weight category, as she is the reigning World and Commonwealth Games Champion.
The weightlifter from Manipur was the first Indian athlete to bag gold at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Chanu broke the games record in both the Snatch and Clean & Jerk categories, on her way to a Gold medal in the 48 Kg weight class.
Chanu had also won the gold medal at the 2017 Weightlifting Championships in Anaheim, following her silver medal at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
The heart of the matter
However, it seems that the weightlifter will not be able to add an Asian Games medal to her achievements, as she has been ruled out of the pan-Asian competition. Chanu’s withdrawal from the games came at the advice of coach Vijay Sharma, who did not want the weightlifter to take on extra load and prolong her injury.
“I have submitted a report to the federation. Now they have to take a decision. I am of the opinion that in less time it’s not good to take a heavy load. The Olympic qualifiers event is approaching, and that is more important than the Asian Games,” Sharma had told PTI.
The weightlifter at one point seemed on track to recover on time from her injury as she was quoted saying,“I am confident that in two weeks I can prepare well for the Asian Games.”
However, as it turns out, the exact nature of Chanu’s injury wasn’t correctly diagnosed by the doctors; which in turn has now ruled the weightlifter out of the Asian Games.
Chanu will stay back home in India as she recovers from her injury in time to take part in the Olympic Qualifiers. It remains to be seen whether her replacement entry to the Games can have the same success as the world-conquering weightlifter.