While promising weightlifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga is facing criticism for refusing an offer to travel to the USA for rehab and has been removed from the National camp, chief National coach Vijay Sharma is confident that the youngster will overcome the ‘bad phase’ in his career and emerge stronger.
Jeremy, the 67kg Commonwealth Games champion who overcame a hand injury suffered during the Birmingham Games last year, was diagnosed with a back issue in the first week of last month following which there were doubts over his participation in the Asian Games and World championships.
“Even if he misses the Paris Olympics next year, he can compete in the next two. In my 12 years at the National camp, I haven’t seen a more talented lifter than Jeremy.”Vijay Sharma on Jeremy Lalrinnunga
“During the camp in Shilaru (Himachal Pradesh) on June 6, he felt numbness in one of his hands. We waited for a couple of days before sending him to Mumbai for an MRI scan.
It came to the fore that he had two slip disc issues and the doctors advised him to rest for four weeks rest. I thought he needed to recover fully before making a comeback as such a problem, if not addressed well, can ruin one’s career,” Sharma told Sportstar from St. Louis, USA, where he has been overseeing Mirabai Chanu and Bindyarani Devi’s training at an overseas camp.
Accepting that Jeremy made a mistake in refusing the offer from the Sports Authority of India and Indian Weightlifting Federation to rehab in the USA to recover from his injury, Sharma said, “I don’t know what exactly prompted him to make such a decision, but he is heartbroken after seeing the negative publicity about him in the media.”
Sharma was optimistic that the former Youth Olympics champion would make an impact in future events. “Jeremy is only 20 years old.
Even if he misses the Paris Olympics next year, he can compete in the next two Olympics. In my 12 years at the National camp, I have not seen a more talented lifter than Jeremy. He is more talented than even Mirabai. I am sure he will learn from his mistake and come back as a stronger athlete. He just needs to see off this bad phase,” said Sharma.
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