Coming into the 2019 World Weightlifting Championships, India’s Saikhom Mirabai Chanu had her eyes set on lifting a total weight in excess of 200kg. And on Thursday, the Indian weightlifting star did just that to put up a superb show to finish fourth in the women's 49kg category in Pattaya, Thailand.
Stepping on to the floor for her first lift, Chanu started her day with an 84kg lift in the snatch. While she extended that to 87kg in the second, she was called out for an invalid attempt in the third with the bar weighing 89kg.
At the end of the segment, Chanu was placed fourth in the leaderboard with China’s Hou Zhihui leading the charts only on a bodyweight difference. Zhihui managed a 94kg lift in her second attempt while her compatriot Huihua Jiang matched her with her third lift to stay on the leader's heels.
Best to the fore
It was the clean and jerk segment that saw Chanu push it to the next level.
Chanu began with a lift of 110kg in her first attempt and then rose to 114kg in her second, a personal best in the segment. A failed attempt at 118kg in her third followed.
Though her lifts momentarily kept her in the third place, by the time Ri Song Gum of North Korea, finished her attempt, Chanu was once again down to fourth.
Chanu ended with a personal best total of 201kg, while Jiang took the gold with a combined lift of 212 kg (94+118), a new world record.
She bettered the mark set by Zhihui, who finished with the silver after managing 211kg (94+117). North Korea’s Gum took the bronze for 204kg (89+115).
Zhihui held the record in total weight prior to the Worlds with her attempt of 210kg early this year at the IWF World Cup in Fuzhou, China.
The opening day also saw North Korean star Om Yun Chol defend his title in the men's 55kg category with a world record lift.