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Mirabai Chanu wins silver at World Championships

Mirabai Chanu lifted a total of 200 kgs to clinch the silver medal at the Weightlifting World Championships, beating Olympic champion Hou Zhihua.

Mirabai Chanu wins silver at World Championships

A screengrab of Mirabai Chanu at the World Championships in Phuket, Thailand, on April 1, 2024.


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 7 Dec 2022 10:40 AM GMT

Mirabai Chanu won the silver medal in the women's 49 kg event at the Weightlifting World Championships in Bogota on Tuesday night.

Lifting a total of 200 kgs (87kg in snatch and 113kg in clean and jerk), Mirabai finished just behind world champion Jiang Huihua of China, who registered a total of 206kgs. Mirabai also won the silver medal in clean and jerk, while she finished 5th in snatch.

Olympic gold medallist Hou Zhihui, also of China, finished at 3rd spot overall with 198kgs, after she decided to not go for her third attempt.

"Our aim was to get 200. A 200kg + total weight at every qualifying event will comfortably lead to qualification for the Paris Olympics, so we did not take much pressure in this event. Mirabai winning silver despite not exerting herself gives us confidence for the future," Vijay Sharma, the head coach of the Indian team, told The Bridge after the medal on Tuesday.

READ | How Mirabai Chanu showed true grit to perform spectacular snatch save

This is Mirabai's second medal at the World Championships after her gold medal in 2017 - an edition when neither of the two Chinese lifters were present because China had been temporarily suspended for past doping violations. In 2019, Mirabai finished at 4th spot behind them and a North Korean weightlifter.

Speaking to The Bridge in August, Mirabai Chanu had said, "My big battles for now will be against the Chinese lifters. In December, they shall be the top lifters at the World Championships. At the Asian Games too, where India have never won a medal, they will be the ones to look out for."

In action for the first time since the Commonwealth Games, she managed to get into 2nd spot between the two Chinese lifters on the podium on Tuesday.

Mirabai has a personal best of 207kg (88kg in snatch and 119kg in clean and jerk). She has been trying to breach the 90kg mark in snatch for a few years, but did not stretch herself beyond her personal best at the World Championships because she is carrying a wrist injury.

The 2022 World Championships are the first qualifying event for the 2024 Paris Olympics. Mirabai's campaign for the next Olympics has started on a sparkling note. Her silver medal in Bogota ranks right behind her 2020 Olympics silver medal and the 2017 World Championships gold medal in terms of biggest global medals won by her.

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