Mirabai Chanu to seek an Olympics berth in 49kg

Mirabai, who won the World title last year in 48kg, does not have to do a big shift for the Olympics.

Mirabai’s training for the Asian Games has been affected for the last two weeks due to a lower back issue. (File Photo)   -  Getty Images

The change in weight categories, ratified by the International Weightlifting Federation Congress in Tashkent on Thursday, will not affect world champion Mirabai Chanu much as the ace Indian lifter will go up by a kg to fit into the new 49kg class.

The IWF approved 10 weight categories each for men and women. Seven each of these categories – 61kg, 67kg, 73kg, 81kg, 96kg, 109kg and +109kg for men and 49kg, 55kg, 59kg, 64kg, 76kg, 87kg and +87kg for women – have been approved for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Mirabai, who won the World title last year in 48kg, does not have to do a big shift for the Olympics. For the first time, athletes will qualify individually for the Games instead of earning quota places for his/her country. The experiment in this regard was done in the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

READ: Mirabai to lead Indian challenge at Asian Games

Under the new system, the lifters will have to compete in a certain number of events to participate in a ranking (in order to get quota places). This will expose them to regular in-competition dope testing and minimise the chance of doped lifters competing in the Olympics.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that Mirabai’s training for the Asian Games has been affected for the last two weeks due to a lower back issue. However, the Indian camp is hopeful that the top lifter will recover fast and resume her training sooner than later.