Olympic silver medalist Saikhom Mirabai Chanu has opted not to participate in the upcoming World Championships, focusing instead on the highly anticipated Asian Games, which commence less than three weeks after the Worlds.
Despite her formidable track record in the 49kg weight category, Chanu is determined to secure the one accolade missing from her impressive collection: an Asian Games medal.
In light of the tight schedule between the Asian Games and the World Championships, head coach Vijay Sharma revealed that they have devised a strategic approach. While attendance at the Worlds is obligatory, Chanu will only be present in Riyadh to fulfill necessary formalities.
She will undergo mandatory procedures, including potential doping tests, yet won’t partake in any actual lifting activities. The decision stems from the Paris Olympics qualification rules, which stipulate participation in both the 2023 and 2024 World Championships as obligatory for qualifying.
Having previously clinched the World Championships title in 2017, Chanu’s entry into the competition is marked with a modest weight of up to 60kg. Consequently, she finds herself in Group D of the event.
The allocation of groups is based on the entry weights registered by the lifters, with the heaviest entrants placed in Group A, followed by subsequent groups in descending order.
While the World Championships commence on September 4 in Riyadh, the Asian Games are set to kick off on September 23 in Hangzhou. The short timeframe between these two prominent events poses a significant challenge for athletes, who must effectively manage their weight and performance peaks for optimal results.
Coach Sharma’s decision to have Chanu solely participate in the World Championships underscores the careful deliberation and strategic planning required to navigate such a demanding schedule.
As Mirabai Chanu forgoes lifting at the Worlds to prioritize her preparation for the Asian Games, her commitment to achieving an Asian Games medal shines through. With a calculated approach and a focus on her peak performance, Chanu aims to etch her name into the annals of weightlifting history once again, this time as an Asian Games medalist.