World record effort in the Asian meet a confidence-booster ahead of Tokyo Olympics
From fluffing three clean and jerk attempts in the 2016 Rio Olympics to rewriting its world record in the Tashkent Asian championships, it has been along road for Mirabai Chanu and has given the ace weightlifter a much-needed dose of self-belief ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.
Former World champion Mirabai — who set a new record of 119kg and improved her personal best by two more kg to do 205kg to clinch the women’s 49kg bronze medal — is now more confident as she comes within range of an Olympic medal.
“I was doing up to 120kg in training in clean and jerk and went for the world record from the beginning. It is a big achievement. Rewriting a world record is never easy. A lot of hard work goes into it. It will give me more confidence,” Mirabai told The Hindu on Sunday.
“It is a huge source of satisfaction as I worked on my technique and strength after my failure in Rio.”
Mirabai admitted that her ‘Vizag moment’ in Tashkent — where she failed in her first two snatch attempts in the 2019 National championships at Visakhapatnam — made her nervous before she could manage 86kg in her last effort.
“I was nervous… now I have to improve my snatch performance. The effort will be not to fail in any of the attempts.”
Mirabai said her treatment for a long-standing lower back issue in the USA helped her. “I did the exercises prescribed in the USA and maintained those. The treatment was beneficial,” she said.
Chief coach Vijay Sharma said a technical adjustment after the Rio Games lifted Mirabai’s clean and jerk performance.
“Like clean and jerk, we need to iron out a technical issue in snatch also. I am sure she can improve her overall total up to 209kg. The world record has made me confident about Mira’s capability,” said Sharma.
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