- Saikhom Mirabai Chanu broke three records, all her own, by at the National Weightlifting competition in Kolkata.
- The 25-year old totalled a record weight of 203 kg, ranking fourth in the world.
- Chanu also break the 115kg-barrier in clean-and-jerk.
Indian weightlifter and Khel Ratna awardee Saikhom Mirabai Chanu, on Tuesday, demonstrated why she is one of the country’s biggest medal hope at the Olympic after the Manipuri lifter broke three national records set by herself before clinching the 49kg gold at the ongoing senior weightlifting Nationals in Khudiram Anushilan Kendra.
The 25-year old Railways representative first hauled 88 kg in snatch, going past the previous mark by 1 kg before again going on to break the 115kg-barrier in clean-and-jerk. That added up for a record total of 203 kg in the event.
However, this wasn’t the first time that Chanu has achieved the feat. She had hit the magical 200kg-mark last September at the World Championships in Pattaya.
Happy on beginning 2020 by making new national record of 203 kg and winning gold at National Weightlifting Championship in Kolkata. pic.twitter.com/9Ita6g11yq
— Saikhom Mirabai Chanu (@mirabai_chanu) February 5, 2020
On a global perspective, a weight of 203 kg would have been enough to win a gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics (gold-medalist Sopita Tanasan had lifted exactly 200 kgs in the 48 kg category).
In fact, Mirabai’s efforts on Tuesday earner her the fourth place in weightlifting world rankings, behind only Jiang Huihua (212kg), Hou Zhihui (211kg), both Chinese, and Ri Songgum (209kg) of North Korea.
“I’m trying to get as close to the 210kg-mark as possible. I still have some time left before the Asian championships and hopefully, I’ll peak at the right time before the Olympics,” she was quoted as saying by the reporters.
Fellow Railways lifter Sanjita Chanu came second by lifting 195 whereas Telangana’s T Priyadarshini could manage just 168 kg to finish third.
As she said, Mirabai even tried to get near the elusive 210kg-target on Tuesday after eclipsing her own snatch mark by lifting 88kg. However, she failed to achieve her target.
Nonetheless, Chanu demonstrated her confidence clean-and-jerk by raising the weight from 111kg to 115kg in the second attempt before lifting it to a new high. In the process, she also bettered her record of 114kg. The weightlifter even went for a 117kg lift but to no avail.
“Pressure is always there when the entire country is expecting a medal. But I am happy that I have the chance to do something for India, so I will put my best foot forward,” she concluded.