With this win, Saikhom Mirabai Chanu has now crossed the 200kg mark twice within five months, further elevating her Olympic medal prospects.
Ace Indian weightlifter Mirabai Chanu lifted 203kgs in the 49kg category, and in the process bettered her previous personal best of 201kg, to win the gold medal at the ongoing senior National Weightlifting Championships in Kolkata on Tuesday.
The 25-year-old athlete from Manipur lifted 88kgs in snatch and 115kg in clean and jerk, which not only won her the national title but also consequently placed her in the fourth place in the world rankings behind China's Jiang Huihua (212kg), Hou Zhihui (211kg) and North Korea's Ri Song Gum (204kg).
It was last year at the 2019 World Weightlifting Championships, where Mirabai Chanu had lifted a total of 201kg, which was her personal best total at the time and a national record in the 49kg category.
The Nationals in Kolkata was the perfect warm-up for the Indian athlete as she readies for the Olympic gold event Asian Championships, scheduled in Kazakhstan in April. The Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWF), however, sounded very confident with Mirabai Chanu’s chances in Kazakhstan.
“We are guaranteed of silver by Mirabai. Our fight will be with China for a gold," IWF secretary general Sahdev Yadav was quoted saying by the Press Trust of India.
“We expect her to top the rankings in Kazakhstan. And mark my words, if she manages to do that there will be no stopping her in Tokyo,” Yadav added.
Mirabai Chanu, however, is aiming to lift a total of 210kg in her weight category knowing fully well that achieving that would possibly fetch her an Olympic gold medal.
“I am very happy with my best effort. The target is to do 90kg in snatch and 120kg in clean and jerk. I hope to do that in the Asian Championships (a 2020 Olympics qualifying event) in Kazakhstan in April,” Mirabai Chanu told Sportstar.