World champion weightlifter S. Mirabai Chanu, who was nominated for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award on Monday, said she would skip the World championships in November in order to fully recover from her lower back injury.
Mirabai, who claimed the women’s 48kg World title in Anaheim (USA) last December and the Commonwealth Games crown in Gold Coast, Australia, in April, had to forego the Asian Games due to the injury.
The good news is Mirabai’s treatment in Mumbai has started showing positive results. “The pain has come down. I am also doing (light) weight training,” Mirabai told
The 24-year-old has decided not to compete in the World championships, the first Olympic qualifying event for the 2020 Games, to be held in Ashgabat (Turkmenistan) and focus on her recovery process.
National coach Vijay Sharma, who was nominated for Dronacharya Award, welcomed Mirabai’s decision.
“The main target is to do well in the Olympics. The requirement is to compete in six events (to gather ranking points). Even if she skips this year’s World championships, she will have enough events to qualify.
“No point taking any risks. The first target is to recover completely and return to action in the Asian championships in April (which will be held in India),” added Sharma.
Mirabai said she had gotten over the disappointment of skipping the Asiad. “I was sad. May be better things await me.
“Right now, I am so happy to have got the Khel Ratna news. My family and coach are responsible for this. My mother has been performing puja for the last two days; now she is relieved.
“This will encourage me to put in more hard work and bring laurels for the country,” said Mirabai, who would be the third weightlifter after Karnam Malleswari (1994-95) and N. Kunjarani Devi (1995-96) to receive the honour.
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