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'Incredible to come back after injury, feeling confident,' says Mirabai Chanu

Following her successful comeback, the 29-year-old Mirabai Chanu said, her focus is now on making a mark at the Paris Olympics.

Incredible to come back after injury, feeling confident, says Mirabai Chanu

FILE PHOTO: Mirabai Chanu in action during an event. (Photo credit: SAI)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 1 April 2024 2:05 PM GMT

Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu made a successful comeback from a six-month injury layoff at the IWF World Cup in Phuket, Thailand, on Monday, as she all but qualified for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

Chanu finished third in Group B of the women's 49kg category at the event.

Following her return to the court with three successful snatch lifts, two successful clean and jerk lifts and one unsuccessful final heft, confidence resonated in the voice of the 29-year-old from Manipur.

"It feels incredible to come back after injury. Almost every lift I made today felt clean, clear, and powerful, and I am leaving this competition feeling strong and confident," said Chanu after successfully marking her comeback.

However, her total lift of 184kg -­ 81kg in snatch and 103kg in clean and jerk - was much below her personal best of 205 kg, recorded at the Asian Championships in 2021.

In September last, chasing her maiden Asian Games medal, Chanu had returned home empty-handed picking up a thigh injury. She had finished agonisingly fourth. Chanu’s 191kg lift - clean and jerk 108kg and snatch 83kg - was way short of third-placed Thanyathon Sukcharoen’s lift of 199kg.

Chanu acknowledged the support of people involved in her recovery since that injury.

"The rehabilitation was tough and demanding, but with the support of everyone involved in my rehab and recovery, I pushed through all the complications. The journey to get here required relentless dedication and hard work, and I couldn't be happier being back on the ramp - lifting and competing for my country," Chanu said recalling her time post-injury.

Talking of his ward's comeback, national weightlifting coach Vijay Sharma said he is proud of Chanu.

"Our entire focus leading up to this event was solely on her (Chanu's) rehabilitation. Seeing her perform comfortably today, given she is returning after six months of injury and rehabilitation, makes me proud of all the hard work we have done. Today, she was comfortable and confident in her lifts," stated Sharma.

As her Paris Olympics qualification is now a matter of time, with the official announcement of the Olympic Qualification Ranking coming after the IWF World Cup, Chanu said her attention will now be on making her presence in the French capital count.

"The goal was to secure my spot for the Paris Olympics, and now that I am almost through for Paris Olympics, all my attention is on making a mark at the Paris Olympics," said Chanu.

Sharma reiterated his ward's view. "Now that we are almost through, our focus is firmly set on the Paris Olympics 2024. It is time to channel all our energy into preparing for the main event in Paris," said Sharma.

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