Asian Weightlifting C'ships: Mirabai falls one short of 200kg mark

Mirabai, who successfully lifted 113 kg in her second attempt in clean and jerk, reached a total of 199 kg after lifting 86 kg in snatch. That effort pushed her to fourth.

Mirabai Chanu, who successfully lifted 113 kg in her second attempt in clean and jerk reached a total of 199 kg after she managed to lift 86 kg in snatch. (FILE IMAGE)   -  Getty Images

Saikhom Mirabai Chanu, who was looking to reach the 200kg-mark in the women's 49kg category fell one short at the Asian Weightlifting Championships in Ningbo, China, on Sunday.

Despite lifting her personal best, she missed bronze by a whisker, finishing fourth in the event.

Mirabai, who successfully lifted 113 kg in her second attempt in clean and jerk, reached a total of 199 kg after lifting 86kg in snatch.

She finished behind China's Rong Zhang, who also totalled 199kg but had 88kg in snatch.

The 24-year-old missed out on a podium finish under the new rules which came into effect in 2017.

Under these rules, the competitor who has a lower clean and jerk result (that means higher snatch result) will be ranked higher in the classification of athletes for total lift.

The gold medal went to Hou Zhihui of China who produced an effort of 208kg (92kg+116kg) while North Korea’s Ri Song-gum clinched the silver, lifting 200kg (86kg+114kg) in the gold level Olympic qualifier.

READ: Jeremy Lalrinnunga posts new youth world record in Asian Weightlifting C'ships

After clearing 86kg in her snatch, Mirabai began her clean and jerk with a 109kg and then lifted 113kg successfully.

But in her third attempt, the Manipuri could not lift 115kg and that cost her dear. Had she been successful in her attempt to lift 115kg, she would have won a silver with a total of 201kg.

Mirabai, however, had to settle for bronze in clean and jerk while she was fourth in snatch.

In World Championships and continental championships, medals are awarded separately for snatch, clean and jerk, and total lift. But in the Olympics, medals are awarded only for total lift.

This was her second international competition in this category after the International Weightlifting Federation re-jigged the weight categories last year. She was earlier competing in the 48kg category.

Mirabai, who won her World title in 48kg in 2017, bagged the Commonwealth Games title comfortably before the disappointment of missing out on the Asian Games due to a lower back injury.

Following the rejig in weight categories, Mirabai switched to 49kg and made a comeback in Olympic qualifying event EGAT Cup in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where she clinched the gold medal by lifting 192kg in February this year.

Coach happy with Mirabai's performance

National coach Vijay Sharma was happy with Mirabai's performance in women's 49kg class.

"Our target was 200kg. Mira kind of exceeded that when she lifted 115kg in her last clean and jerk attempt. But her last attempt was not considered by the jury due to a technical issue. However, 199kg is not a bad result at all. And she can improve from here," said Sharma.

Mirabai's next Olympic qualifying event will be the Commonwealth championships in Samoa in July.

Sharma praised Jhili Dalabehera (women's 45kg) for bagging a silver medal and Jeremy Lalrinnunga (67kg) for creating some new records.

"Everybody performed well and improved upon his/her performance," he said.