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My 3rd lift was in anger, hadn't planned such a risk: Mirabai Chanu

Mirabai Chanu reveals that the 'No Lift' decision against her by the judges at the World Championships incensed her.

My 3rd lift was in anger, hadnt planned such a risk: Mirabai Chanu

Mirabai Chanu (IWF)


Dipankar Lahiri

Published: 14 Dec 2022 2:12 PM GMT

Mirabai Chanu is rarely angry. So rare is her anger that she could be the natural successor to the 'Indiranagar ka gunda' advertisement if it becomes a franchise. But at the World Championships last week, where she won the silver medal, it was this rare sight that was on display. In an almost unthinkable turn of events, Mirabai did not smile at the judges as she bowed after her second snatch lift. Her lips were pursed - in anger, as she revealed on Wednesday.

Speaking to The Bridge, Mirabai said, "I was already in a bit of tension during the snatch section of the World Championships because some of the new girls were doing very well. After my second snatch lift was deemed as a 'No Lift', I was seething in anger."

There was a lengthy delay as the Indian team lodged an appeal against the decision. The decision was not overturned, but the challenge gave Mirabai some precious seconds to recover as she went for an 87-kg lift again.

"Maybe I would not have gone for a third lift at all if the second lift was not deemed as a 'No Lift'. I had been worried about the snatch section before the event, I had decided that I wouldn't exert myself and if I registered an 87-kg lift, I would give up the remaining attempts," she said.

But what Mirabai pulled off - in anger - with her third lift was the crowning glory of the night in Bogota one week ago. A jaw-dropping recovery to register 87kg as her score from the snatch section even after it looked like she had no chance to recover from an awkward position.

"Earlier, there was a lot of fear when it came to snatch. Now there's only confidence. 87kg remains the target as of now, but I hope to recover from the wrist injury quickly," she said.

Explaining why she is facing a problem with her snatch lifts in particular because of the wrist injury she has been carrying for a few months, Mirabai said, "The small muscles in my wrist are weak. When I exercise with a wide grip, there is a lot of pain."

Mirabai also said that the competition at the World Championships is tougher than Olympics. "This medal was important for me because I had missed the last World Championships. People's love carried me over the line even though I had an injury," she said.

READ | Mirabai Chanu's village finds its identity, but still waits on broken promises

Currently deliberating whether a trip to the USA is needed to work on her joint and shoulder strength, Mirabai will now look forward to the Asian Championships in May - a qualification event for the Paris Olympics - before preparing for the Asian Games.

"It's difficult to promise that I will win gold in the 2024 Olympics, what I can promise is that I will give my best to beat the Chinese. They were not at their best at the World Championships," she concluded.

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