Olympic silver medallist Mirabai Chanu will be the biggest star attraction in weightlifting competitions, starting at the 36th National Games here from Friday.
Mirabai, who had taken a silver behind Sanjita Chanu in women’s 48kg in 2015, has grown in stature following her World title victory in 2017 and Olympics silver in 2021. The superstar lifter, who claimed her second Commonwealth Games gold this year, will be the favourite to win the women’s 49kg crown this time despite the presence of Sanjita, who went through a difficult phase to revive her career after being a victim of a poorly-handled doping case.
Along with the two, Commonwealth Games silver medallist Bindyarani Devi will be part of a strong Manipur women’s contingent.
Besides, Commonwealth Games gold medallist Achinta Sheuli will be another important athlete in men’s 73kg.
The notable absentees will be Commonwealth Games medallists Jeremy Lalrinnunga, Sanket Sargar and Gurdeep Singh, who are unable to compete due to injuries.