Indian weightlifters have done reasonably well at the Asian Games over the years, but a gold medal has eluded the country so far. It is also one of the few events in which the country’s women have had a better track record than the men. Eleven lifters have finished on the podium across men and women — with Kunjarani Devi, Karnam Malleswari and Bharti Singh being the only ones to win in successive editions of the competition.

While 48kg world champion Mirabai Chanu was expected to be the flagbearer for the Indian weightlifting team and a favourite for a medal, lower-back pain has ruled her out. Sathish Sivalingam, the other bright prospect for a medal, has also spent nearly a month in rehabilitation after winning the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year. Even though he is back in training, it needs to be seen if he can push himself all the way.