Mirabai Chanu, the star weightlifter from India, had a disappointing showing in the Asian Championships during which she struggled in snatch and decided not to attempt her last two clean and jerk lifts, ultimately earning a fifth place finish.
Competing in the 49kg weight category, the silver medallist from the Tokyo Olympics lifted 85kg in snatch and 109kg in clean and jerk for a total of 194kg, 13kg below her personal best of 207kg.
Chanu opened the snatch round with a successful 85kg lift. She then attempted to match her personal best, setting her weight at 88kg. However, she missed her next two attempts and had to settle for 85kg.
Four lifters managed to lift 90kg or more in the snatch, besting Chanu’s results.
Earlier, Chanu’s head coach, Vijay Sharma, had said that while Chanu had been trying to lift 90kg in snatch since 2020, she was unlikely to attempt it in this competition.
During the 2021 Asian Championships, Chanu had won a bronze medal and set a world record in clean and jerk (119kg). This time, she only lifted 109kg before opting out of her final two attempts for reasons that are still unknown.
Sharma has previously mentioned that the goal is to peak at the Asian Games later this year, the only event where Chanu has yet to win a medal.
China’s Jiang Huihua won the gold medal with a total lift of 207kg, with Hou Zhihui from the Tokyo Olympics finishing second with a total of 204kg, and Serodchana Khambao from Thailand taking home the bronze medal with 200kg in total.
This is one of the qualifying events for the 2024 Paris Olympics, with the number of weightlifting events being reduced from 14 during the Tokyo Games to 10.
Under the 2024 Olympic qualification rule, a weightlifter must compete in the 2023 World Championships and the 2024 World Cup. Additionally, the lifter must participate in at least three of the following events: the 2022 World Championships, the 2023 Continental Championships, the 2023 Grand Prix 1, the 2023 Grand Prix II, and the 2024 Continental Championships.
The International Weightlifting Federation is set to publish the Olympic Qualification Rating (OQR) for each weight category at the conclusion of the qualification period. A weightlifter’s top three performances at qualifying events will be used for evaluation purposes.