2019 World Weightlifting Championship: All you need to know
The Indian contingent will look to keep the entire nation on the edge of their seats as they kickstart their campaign at the upcoming World Weightlifting Championship in Thailand on September 18.
The Indian contingent will look to keep the entire nation on the edge of their seats as they kickstart their campaign at the upcoming World Weightlifting Championship in Thailand on September 18. The Indian squad has already left in batches for the big-ticket event in a bid to undergo better training and assimilate to the challenging conditions there. Extended over the course of ten days, Thailand will enjoy the privilege of hosting the mega-wrestling event this year after successfully conducting it in 1997 and 2007.
A total of ten-member weightlifting squad has been announced by the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF) for the marquee event comprising about six men and four women weightlifters. While the Indian weightlifters have not fared well at big tournaments like the 2018 Asian Games and World Weightlifting Championship last year, they will certainly look forward to changing gears and secure Olympic berths in respective weight categories. Despite being part of the 2019 EGAT Cup International Weightlifting Championship or the 2019 Asian Weightlifting Championship, our weightlifters have almost always returned empty-handed.
But, compared to where it started, Indian weightlifting has come a long way. The senior men and women weightlifters produced a stupendous show at the recently-concluded 2019 Commonwealth Weightlifting Championship in Samoa, similar aggression that they would look to retain at the Championship this time around, too. In fact, the Indian contingent scooped up its finest performance at the Commonwealth Championship with an impressive haul of 35 medals, including both junior and youth teams.
In a sharply delineated contrast to the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championship that kicked off in July this year, India’s performance at the World Championship has mostly fizzled out, let alone Olympic events. The last medal was won by an Indian man lifter at the 1996 edition of the Asian Games in Seoul. At a time when India’s weightlifting medal feat is as dry as dust, an international medal will only serve as a morale-booster for the confidence of our weightlifters.
The 2019 edition of the World Weightlifting Championship promises to be as exhilarating as ever, for it is not only the likes of Miraba Chanu or a Vikas Thakur that India will shed their weight upon, but a fresh crop of weightlifters with some noteworthy talent tucked within. The 2018 Olympic youth gold medallist Jeremy Lalrinnunga will mark his debut at the World Championship, at a much tender age of 16, in the 67-kg weight category. As far as men weightlifters are concerned, their mission is to take on their global counterparts as they give finishing touches to their rigorous preparations.
Achinta Sheuli and Ajay Singh will be the cynosure of all eyes as they get caught in some scintillating action in the 73-kg and 81-kg categories respectively. For Ragala Venkat Rahul who finished ninth in the 2017 edition, matters will not be too easy to handle as he will battle it out in the 85-kg category. Vikas Thakur, on the other hand, will make his third World Championship appearance in the 96-kg category. He will be joined by Pardeep Singh who will fight for his place in the 102-kg category.
Women certainly look more promising to pull off a quick podium finish, take the success ladder of Mirabai Chanu into consideration. The Imphal-born lifter will be joined by Jhilli Dalabehera (45-kg), Sneha Soren (55-kg) and Rakhi Halder (64-kg). But things would not be as easy as falling off a log for Mirabai, as she has shifted to a 49-kg weight category from her 48-kg. However, India’s biggest medal hopes in weightlifting will most definitely rest upon Mirabai’s shoulders, who had taken the world by storm after winning the 2017 World Championship gold medal in the 48-kg category. Making World Championship appearance for the fourth time in a row, she will look to prove her mettle this time around, too. Rakhi Halder is another exciting prospect to look out for, as she will make her second World Championship appearance in the 64-kg category.
Besides Mirabai Chanu’s gold medal feat in the 2017 World Weightlifting Championship in USA, the country’s other two gold medals in World Championship were won by Karnam Malleshwari in the 1994 and 1995 editions held in Turkey and China. One now hopes India’s remarkable feat at the World Championship to trigger a new chapter in the Indian weightlifting scenario.