Mirabai Chanu: Not weighed down by expectations

The ace lifter is now targeting a podium finish at the 2022 Asian Games. She is not too worried about the competition in the Commonwealth Games and is confident of defending her crown there.

Mirabai Chanu won India's first-ever weightlifting silver medal at the Olympics, after lifting a total of 202 kg in the women's 49 kg event at the Tokyo 2020 Games.   -  PTI

For Mirabai Chanu, the Tokyo Olympics silver medal is a thing of the past as she focuses on breaking newer barriers in the new year. The ace lifter is now targeting a podium finish at the 2022 Asian Games.

Mirabai had skipped the 2018 Asian Games due to a lower back injury. She, however, is not too worried about the competition in the Commonwealth Games and is confident of defending her crown there.

“Everybody knows the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games are scheduled in 2022. Time is very less, and I am focusing on the Asian Games. It has been my target to win a medal for the country in the Asian Games. So right now, my focus is on the Asian Games,” Mirabai says.

“My back injury has started healing. That’s why I thought I should take a break from the World championships and focus on future events... I will try to do my best in the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. Weightlifting is the kind of sport where if you miss training for a day, it's difficult to make up. And I was away from training for a month after Tokyo, so it was hard initially.”

Mira also wants more support for budding athletes, especially in the country’s North-East. “Everyone talks about how Manipur has been the cradle of women's weightlifting in the country. But in the past, there have been instances of athletes giving up on the sport because of a lack of facilities. Things are much better now... With better training facilities, types of equipment, and nutrition in place, the entire North-East will produce world-class athletes,” she says.