All you need to know about the national weightlifting camp: When, where, participants and duration?

A two-month-long camp has been organised by Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) as part of the preparations for the Olympics

By Samrat Chakraborty ·

Indian weightlifters are set to engage in gruelling training sessions as they ramp up their preparations for the Tokyo Olympics next year in a two-month-long camp that has been organised by the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF).

The Covid-19 pandemic had hampered preparations with even the Olympic qualifying schedule going for a toss. The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) has had to cancel five continental championships, including the Asian qualifiers. The tournaments are expected to kick-off once again in March 2021.

As a result, the Indian athletes are looking to get themselves in the best possible shape as they gear up for the upcoming events.

When is the camp?

The 60-day national camp will start from December 21, 2020.

Former world champion weightlifter and Khel Ratna awardee Mirabai Chanu is also nominated for the Arjuna Award

Where is the camp?

It was initially set to take place in Patiala from the aforementioned date. But the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) decided to shift it to Mumbai to ensure that lifters can avoid the biting cold in North India. It was also reasoned that Mumbai offered temperate climatic conditions which was similar to what the weightlifters are likely to encounter in Tokyo.

They will be training at Railways’ Mahalakshmi Stadium in Mumbai.

“We have decided to shift the camp to Mumbai because of the cold weather in Patiala.” - IWLF General Secretary Sahdev Yadav to PTI.

“It will be very hot during the Tokyo Olympics. So, we want the weightlifters to train in similar weather conditions. They will be in Mumbai for two months and then we will again take a call,” Yadav added.

The change was made on national team coach Vijay Sharma's request.

"Because of the cold in Patiala, I had requested the camp to be shifted to either Mumbai or Chennai. They have finalised Mumbai,” said Sharma.

“We will be training at Railway’s Mahalakshmi Stadium. It is a good centre, several Railways camps have been held there and it is safe and secure,” he added.

Who will participate in the camp?

Eight weightlifters will sweat it out in the camp including former world champion Mirabai Chanu and two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Sathish Sivalingam.

They will be joined by six other lifters who are currently training in National Institute of Sports (NIS) in Patiala. They are youth Olympics gold medallist Jeremy Lalrinnunga, Achinta Sheuli, Asian Championship silver medallist Jhilli Dalabehera, Commonwealth Championship gold medallist P Anuradha, Rakhi Halder and Sneha Soren.

Chanu and Sivalingam are currently in the United States on a rehabilitation-cum-training programme and are set to return to India on December 17.

National coach Vijay Sharma will also return alongside Chanu and Sivalingam and join the camp. It must be noted that Chanu and Lalrunnunga have already made the cut for the Tokyo Olympics.