Mirabai Chanu wins weightlifting gold in Qatar to strengthen Olympic chances

The 24-year-old lifted 83kg in snatch and 111kg in clean and jerk to finish top of the podium.

By Olympic Channel Writer ·

One of India’s biggest hopefuls at the Olympic Games next year, Saikom Mirabai Chanu stood up to the expectations to win the gold medal at the 6th Qatar International Cup on Friday.

Chanu lifted a total weight of 194kg to ensure that the points came in handy in the later stages when the final rankings for Tokyo 2020 cut are calculated.

The former world champion weightlifter had an easy outing in her preferred 49kg category as she opened India’s medal tally in the tournament with a gold medal, although the 194kg total was not close to her personal best of 201 kg.

The weightlifter, who won the gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, could manage only one clean lift in both the snatch and clean and jerk categories.

Karnam Malleswari backs Mirabai Chanu

Prior to the tournament, former world champion and Olympic bronze medallist weightlifter Karnam Malleswari had expressed her high hopes from Chanu in Tokyo.

“In Tokyo, no doubt Mirabai Chanu will do well. She has been performing well for the past three years. I am sure she'll bring a medal,” Malleswari told PTI.

At the 2019 World Weightlifting Championships, Mirabai Chanu lifted 201kg

Mirabai since Rio 2016

Despite qualifying for the Rio Games in the women's 48 kg category, the Manipuri athlete failed in all her three attempts in clean & jerk section.

However, she came back strong with a gold medal in the 48 kg category in the 2017 World Weightlifting Championships at Anaheim, United States.

She followed that feat with another gold medal for India at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, breaking the Games record and marking her personal best as well.

Chanu didn’t stop there and clinched another medal, this time a bronze, in the 2019 Asian Weightlifting Championships.

Moving on from the continental level, Chanu did exceeding well in the 2019 World Weightlifting Championships, where she lifted a total of 201 kg (87 kg Snatch and 114 kg Clean & Jerk).

However, she could only finish fourth even with her personal best total, which was a new national record in the 49kg category.