Indian weightlifter Mirabai Chanu bags gold on comeback after injury
Indian weightlifter Mirabai Chanu tops podium in first competitive meet after returning from nine-month injury layoff; eyes Asian and World C'ships
World champion Indian weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu yesterday notched up a gold medal at the EGAT Cup in Thailand, making a strong comeback from the lower back injury that kept her out of action for more than half of 2018.
Chanu won the 49kg category gold with a effort of 192 kg in the silver level Olympic qualifying event, the points from which will come in handy when the final rankings for Tokyo 2020 cut are done.
"This is my first international event after recovering from injury. I am feeling 100 per cent fit but since this is first one after injury, it is not the best result," said Chanu from Chiang Mai city in Thailand. "But this is just four kg less than my personal best of 196kg. I am quite satisfied and happy with my performance. I had won World Championships in 2017 with 194kg," she added.
The Manipuri, 24, lifted 82kg in snatch and 110kg in clean and jerk to finish on top of the podium after recovering from the injury, which required extensive physiotherapy and kept her out of action for nine months.
Japan's Miyake Hiromi (183kg) claimed the silver, while the bronze went to Papua New Guinea's Loa Dika Toua (179kg). While Hiromi is the Rio Olympics bronze-medallist Dika Toua won the 53kg category silver medal in the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.
Chanu had missed the world championships last year, a gold level Olympic qualifier, owing to the injury which had also forced her out of the Asian Games in Jakarta. "My next target is the Asian Championships in China, followed by the world championships, which is very crucial for me," Chanu said.
Chanu was last seen in action at the Gold Coast CWG where she won gold with an effort of 196kg. She had then lifted 86kg in snatch and 110kg in clean and jerk, a Games record and also her personal best.
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