Mirabai Chanu enters 210kg on Tokyo weightlifting start list, higher total than rivals

By putting that weight on the start list, Mirabai has made a statement to her closest rivals, including Hou Zhihui of China, Windy Aisha of Indonesia and Elizabeth Delacruz of the USA. The three have registered 205kg, 203kg and 200kg, respectively.

Mirabai Chanu has entered 210kg as her expected total in the women’s 49kg start list of the Tokyo Olympic Games.   -  FILE PHOTO/PTI

Mirabai Chanu has entered 210kg as her expected total in the women’s 49kg start list of the Tokyo Olympic Games to raise the expectation of Indian weightlifting fans on the eve of her event.

Mirabai, who has the personal best of 205kg, had earlier said that she would be going for 210kg to push for the gold. By putting that weight on the start list, she has made a statement to her closest rivals, including Hou Zhihui of China, Windy Aisha of Indonesia and Elizabeth Delacruz of the USA. The three have registered 205kg, 203kg and 200kg, respectively.

According to D. Chandrahas Rai, who has served as an international technical official in international competitions, the primary purpose of mentioning the weight is to help the organisers prepare a start list.

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“It helps in preparing the groupings and start list,” Rai, a former secretary of the Indian Weightlifting Federation, told Sportstar, putting in perspective a process under which a lifter who gives the lowest weight starts first followed by those who have given heavier weights.

Rai pointed out that men can reduce the total weight up to 20kg, and women can bring it down by 15kg.

Explaining why Zhihui, who achieved her personal best 213kg in the Asian championships earlier this year, could have given 205kg, Rai said, “That is the minimum weight you target to lift. It is a safe weight. And there is no limit for going up.”

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International lifter-turned-coach Anita Chanu, who was Mirabai’s initial coach, agreed. “Mirabai must be in good form. That’s why she has given 210kg.

“The Chinese lifter has given a safe weight. Maybe her performance has dipped a bit, or maybe, she has a niggle. It shows how you are performing at the moment. It also helps the officials prepare the groups,” said Anita.

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