Commonwealth Games gold medallist Achinta Sheuli and fellow Indian lifter N Ajith are both ready to leave the disappointment of missing out on Asian Games selection, by putting their best foot forward for next month’s World Championship in Riyadh.
The championship will start on September 4.
The names of the two lifters, who compete in the men’s 73kg category, has not been cleared by the Sports Ministry as they did not meet its selection criteria for the continental event in Hangzhou, China starting from September 23.
The Indian weightlifting squad for the Asian Games thus doesn’t have any male lifter. Only Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Mirabai Chanu (49kg) and Commonwealth Games silver medallist Bindyarani Devi (55kg) have been cleared by the ministry to compete at the quadrennial event.
“It is very disheartening that my name was removed from the list. I am a quite sad. I have worked so hard for this, trained through pain, competed in the selection trials” Ajith, the Commonwealth Championships gold medallist, told PTI.
“My coaches explained that I have not met the selection criteria. They also said that there is scope (of getting back in to the squad) if I do well at the World Championships so, I am focussed on giving my best there next month. Maybe, I’ll get to go to the Asian Games if I do well there,” the Tamil Nadu lifter added.
The Ministry has noted the performance of the two at this year’s Asian Championships, which were held in Jinju, Korea in May.
At the Asian Championships, Ajith had finished ninth after lifting a total of 307kg (139kg+168kg) while Sheuli managed an underwhelming 305kg lift (140kg+165kg) for a 10th place finish.
Achinta, on the other hand, has made peace with the fact that he will not feature in the continental event.
The West Bengal lifter has struggled with injuries since being crowned the CWG champion in Birmingham last year.
He had to pull out of last year’s World Championships at the last moment after pulling his hamstring in warm-up area during the weigh in. Since then he has also suffered back issues.
“My performance was not there and that is why I have been removed (from the squad),” Sheuli said.
“I don’t want to force anyone to send me anywhere. I want to let my performance do the talking for me. So, I have to put up a good display at the World Championships,” Sheuli said when asked if he would like to make an appeal to include him in the Asiad squad.
The World Championships are scheduled to begin on September 4.
This year’s World Championships assumes more importance as it is a compulsory event, under the 2024 Olympic qualification rule alongside next year’s 2024 World Cup.
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