Mirabai Chanu to work with expert physio in US

Weightlifter Mirabai, a medal hope in the Tokyo Olympics, will work with physical therapist Dr. Aaron Horschig to get rid of a recurring lower back issue.

File photo of Mirabai Chanu during the weightlifting Nationals in Kolkata, earlier this year.   -  Rajeev Bhatt

Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu, a medal hope in the Tokyo Olympics, will work with physical therapist Dr. Aaron Horschig in the USA to get rid of a recurring lower back issue, said national coach Vijay Sharma.

Mirabai, a world champion in women’s 48kg in 2017 in Anaheim, USA, had to skip the 2018 Asian Games when she experienced pain in her lower back.

The Indian took several months to overcome the pain before staging a comeback in the revamped 49kg weight class in an Olympic qualifying event in Thailand in February last year. She continued to compete in different events till the pandemic-induced break.

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"Mira’s lower back issue resurfaces occasionally. I was looking for an expert and came across the profile of Dr. Horschig. There is enough time (before the Olympics) for her to rectify the problem and become stronger,” Sharma told Sportstar.

According to his profile available on the Internet, Dr. Horschig – who was ‘involved in Olympic weightlifting as an athlete and coach for over the past decade’ – is a physical therapist, strength and conditioning coach who has treated professional footballers, baseball players, European professional hoopsters, Olympic weightlifters and other athletes.

Dr. Horschig has co-authored a book, The Squat Bible.

Sharma said Mirabai would not go through any surgery. “The problem is a bio-mechanical fault, relating to her balance. It has to be treated with the help of exercises. We will get to know the details once we meet Dr. Horschig. We had sent the proposal to the Government about 15-20 days ago... We are planning to leave in November.”

Mirabai, who will be accompanied by Sharma and a physiotherapist, will also train at the facility during her nearly two-month stint, funded by the Sports Authority of India (SAI), in Kansas City.