Anaheim: Saikhom Mirabai Chanu clinched the gold medal at the World Weightlifting Championships held in Anaheim USA by creating a new world record of 194 kg-85 kg snatch and 109-kg clean-and jerk. She became only the second Indian after Karnam Malleswari to achieve this feat.
Sukcharoen Thunya won the silver medal with a total lift of 193 while Seguna Ana Iris won the bronze with a total lift of 182 kg.
Competing in the women’s 48kg event, Mirabai began with a total of 85 kg after which she lifted 109 kg to repeat Malleswari’s feat from 1995. This was in stark contrast to her disappointing show at the Rio Olympics last year where she failed to get an overall total after her unsuccessful attempts in lifting up the weight in the clean-and-jerk section.
“After the Olympics, she was very depressed. It was a big setback for all of us. We had been confident that she would medal. We had to slowly work to bring her into the mind to compete again,” said national coach Vijay Sharma.
At the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championship in October, Mirabai was unsatisfied, although she won the gold with a total lift of 189 kg in 85 in the snatch and 185 in the clean-and-jerk.
The coach further added, “Even though she won the gold over there, she was not able to get the total we were planning. Mirabai was not able to make clean lifts. She missed one snatch and two lifts at 108 in the clean and jerk. It was very frustrating.”
The 23-year-old from Imphal, now a World Champion said that there isn’t any pressure on her.
“There is no pressure on me. At one time there was. Now it is gone,” she said.
Now with the World Championship gold in her kitty, Mirabai has her sights set on the Asian Games next year where she doesn’t want to make any error.
Sharma said, “There is still room for improvement. Mirabai missed one of her snatch attempts so we could have lifted another two kilos. And I am confident she can lift another 2 kilos in the clean and jerk too. She should be able to lift close to 198 kilos which she will need to do to win a medal at the Asian Games.”