Sanjita Chanu hopeful of reviving her career

A Commonwealth Games champion in 53kg, Sanjita was handed a provisional suspension by the International Weightlifting Federation in 2017.

Sanjita Chanu in action at the National Weightlifting Championships in Kolkata on Tuesday.   -  RAJEEV BHATT

 

After securing a silver medal in women’s 49kg in the National Weightlifting Championships here, K. Sanjita Chanu may have stepped on the road to redemption but still wonders what the doping episode, which stole more than a year of her career, has in store for her.

A Commonwealth Games champion in 53kg, Sanjita was handed a provisional suspension by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) in the World championships in the USA in 2017. However, her case courted controversy due to several procedural lapses.

The IWF, which revoked her provisional suspension about a year ago, has been tight-lipped over the case and has not delivered the final decision yet.

“I am sad that they are not giving any final decision. I came here to compete but the thought kept coming that more than one year was wasted. My name and life got spoiled and we don’t know the exact reason why it happened. This should not happen to anybody else,” Sanjita told Sportstar.

“After that episode, I thought of quitting. Then I thought, ‘Why should I quit like this? I have not taken anything that is banned.’”

Two successful lifts, one each in snatch and clean and jerk, amid distinct nervousness helped Sanjita come a distant second with a total of 185kg behind Mirabai Chanu. But it came as a big relief for the 26-year-old Manipuri.

“I was nervous. I was making a comeback after such an episode and everybody was watching me. I had tension and the body got tight because of that. That’s why I dropped most of the lifts.

“After 2018 Commonwealth Games, I am competing now in a big event. I competed in 53kg in my last Nationals in 2018. Last year I did not have much time to compete in the National Championships. No one allowed me to train because of the doping story and there was no facility at home. I competed in inter-Railways and slowly got into the training mode.

“Since I struggled to increase my body weight, it would have been difficult to go up to 55kg after the shuffle in weight divisions. That’s why chose 49kg. I did 88kg and 113kg in the inter-Railways and had hoped to repeat it here.”

Sanjita is hopeful of reviving her career. “I will improve my performance and will try to win medals in Commonwealth Games and Asian Games,” she said.