Indian weightlifters earn two quota places for Olympics

New Delhi: Indian weightlifters earned two quota places for Rio Olympics -- one each in men's and women's sections -- at the recently-concluded Senior Asian Championships at Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

Indian women lifters collected 100 points and stood third, while men earned 129 points and finished sixth at the Championships, by virtue of which the country earned two berths for the Rio Games, to be held in August.

Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) will hold trials across all weight divisions to select two lifters -- one man and one woman -- to represent the country at the Olympics.

"We have secured two quota places, one each in men's and women's categories. Now we will be holding trials to select the best two lifters who will represent India at the Rio Games," IWLF vice-president Sahdev Yadav told PTI.

Yadav said the date of the trials will be decided later. "We will give our lifters some time to recover and then we will decide on a date to hold the trials," said Yadav.

Yadav said only those lifters who are training at the national camp will be eligible to take part in the trials. "Only those training in the national camps are eligible to take part in the trials. Besides that, we will consider just those whose whereabouts are already with WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) and who have been a part of at least two international competitions," said Yadav.

At the Senior Asian Championships, which was held from April 21-30, Indian women put up an impressive performance.

While Glasgow Commonwealth Games silver medallist Punam Yadav (63kg) bagged the sixth position, bronze medallist Saikhom Mirabai Chanu (48kg) and Sagolsem Thasana Chanu (58kg) finished at seventh place each.

2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Sanjita Chanu also did well in the women's 48kg to end at ninth spot. Mirabai Chanu came up with a power-packed performance in 48kg as she smashed the national record in snatch with an effort of 84kg and equalling the national record in overall lift with 190kg (106kg in clean &jerk) en-route to her seventh-place finish.

Current coach N Kunjarani Devi holds the record (190kg), which she created during 2004 Athens Olympics.

Yadav said if Mirabai Chanu can improve her performance by four kilograms in the next three months, she would stand a good chance of a podium finish at the Rio Games.

"Mirabai came up with an impressive show at Tashkent and we will ensure that she works harder to improve by another four kgs. If she manages to achieve that, she has a good chance of winning a bronze medal at Olympics," Yadav said.

The bronze medallist at 2012 London Olympics in women's 48kg category had a total lift 192kg.

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