You live with pressure, says Mirabai Chanu ahead of Olympics qualification

Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu is positive of a big win at the upcoming Asian Championships and is ready to rectify her mistakes from Rio Olympics.

Mirabai Chanu created created three national records – in snatch (88kg), clean and jerk (115kg) and total (203kg) – to win the 49kg title at the National Weightlifting Championships.   -  rajeev bhatt

Having crossed the 200kg mark twice within five months, S. Mirabai Chanu, India’s best prospect for a medal in weightlifting in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, is aiming to touch the magic figure of 210kg.

Mirabai was confident after bettering her previous best aggregate of 201kg, which she achieved in the world weightlifting championships in Pattaya, Thailand, last September.

At the National Weightlifting Championships here on Tuesday, Mirabai created three national records – in snatch (88kg), clean and jerk (115kg) and total (203kg) – to win the 49kg title.

She could not lift 117kg in her final clean and jerk attempt, but could not do it due to a slight ‘pull’ that hindered her receiving.

The former world champion knows that if she gets to 210kg, then she will give herself a chance to land a medal, possibly a gold.

“I am very happy with my best effort. The target is to do 90kg in snatch and 120kg in clean and jerk. I hope to do that in the Asian Championships (an Olympic qualifying event), in Kazakhstan in April,” said Mirabai.

The Indian was fourth behind Chinese Jiang Huihua (212) and Hou Zhihui (211) and North Korean Ri Song Gum (204) in Pattaya.

READ | Mirabai betters her own national record, lifts 203kg to win gold in Nationals

Acknowledging the pressure, Mirabai said she needed to work on strength and technical sides. “You live with pressure. I try to relax myself, tell myself I have done it in international level, done it in practice.”

The diminutive lifter, who had a forgettable outing in the 2016 Olympics, said, “Rio was a learning experience, have learnt from my mistakes there…I have focused more on training and technique.”

Claiming that the target of lifting in the range of 203kg-205kg was achieved here, national coach Vijay Sharma gave a more practical target in Kazakhstan.

“There are little things that need to be worked on. I am confident that at Asian championship she will get to 206kg-207kg.

“Medal will come between 207kg and 210kg (in the Olympics). When three competitors fight for this, gold will come in this range.”

Referring to the fact that other top lifters in the weight had been performing at a higher level, Sharma said, “We have started from 194kg, we are running our own race according to what we have. If we hasten, it could lead to injury. I have belief that we can get there. Rest is up to luck and god.”