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Mirabai makes light of a wrist issue to claim silver at the Worlds

Mirabai Chanu, second from left, with the other medallists at the World weightlifting championships in Bogota on Tuesday.
| Photo Credit: International Weightlifting Federation

Olympic silver medallist Mirabai Chanu defied a wrist issue to secure a silver medal in the women’s 49kg category at the World weightlifting championships here on Tuesday.

Mirabai lifted 87kg in snatch and 113kg in clean and jerk to total 200kg and win her second medal in the World championships. She had taken the gold in 48kg with an aggregate of 194kg in Anaheim in 2017 and had finished fourth in 49kg with 201kg in Pattaya in 2019.

Mirabai — who holds the snatch National record of 88kg — began with 84kg but failed to lift 87kg on her second attempt. She managed to hoist 87kg with some difficulty in her third effort and placed fifth behind Chinese Jiang Huihua (93kg), Romanian Mihaela Cambei (90kg), another Chinese Hou Zhihui (89kg) and Belgian Nina Sterckx (89kg).

In clean and jerk, Mirabai — the world record holder in clean and jerk with 119kg — could not lift 111kg in her opening effort before tasting success in the second and getting into the medal contention. In her final attempt, the Indian matched Huihua’s second effort of 113kg to ensure her second international medal of the year after her Commonwealth Games gold (201kg).

“It’s an emotionally proud moment to bring another World championship medal back home after five long years. The competition is always intense at the highest level. I had a wrist pain but I am always ready to push myself to cross the line for my country,” said Mirabai.

“It is a very good result. Despite the problems (relating to Mirabai’s wrist), we are on the right track. She could not lift 87kg in her second attempt as her left hand pressed out due to the injury. Same thing happened in the opening clean and jerk attempt. As 113kg would have given her the silver, we did not try a higher weight,” chief national coach Vijay Sharma said.

Huihua, who could not achieve 120kg in her final attempt, won her third World title (93kg, 113kg, 206kg). Olympic champion Zhihui, who skipped her third effort after doing 109kg in clean and jerk, took bronze medal (89kg, 109kg, 198kg).

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