Star Indian weightlifter Mirabai Chanu could be set for a second appearance at the Games at the 2020 Olympics as her world ranking is set to guarantee her a spot at Tokyo.
The 25-year-old, who had also qualified for Rio 2016, is ranked third in the women’s 49kg, behind China’s Hou Zhihui and North Korean Ri Song Gum and the International Weightlifting Federation’s (IWF) rules stipulate that the top eight post the end of all qualification events automatically make it to the Olympics.
Mirabai Chanu was due to take part in the Asian Championships but the event was called off due to the coronavirus outbreak. The IWF, in a video conference meeting, reportedly recommended to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) that the list for the 2020 Olympics be decided on the current world rankings.
“Mirabai is certain to qualify for the Olympics, she is currently at third spot in the world rankings. The top eight from the world rankings after the end of the qualification period automatically qualifies for Tokyo Olympics,” Indian Weightlifting Federation Secretary General Sahdev Yadav told the Press Trust of India.
“She has competed in five qualifying events but the sixth one, the Asian Championships in Tashkent was cancelled. I think there will be no more qualifying events and the world rankings is set to be based on what it currently is.”
Jeremy Lalrinnunga set to make Olympics debut
Teenager Jeremy Lalrinnunga could also be on the flight to Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics as he currently sits atop the Asian rankings in the men’s 67 kg category.
The men’s competition sees the top eight in the world and the top-ranked weightlifter from each continent qualify automatically for the Games, which puts the 17-year-old in a comfortable position.
Jeremy Lalrinnunga has a lot of promise and capability to be the next big thing in Indian weightlifting. He won the 62kg gold in the 2018 Youth Olympics and is more than 400 points away from second-placed Saudi weightlifter, Mohammad Almazyadi Nawaf in the Asian rankings.