‘We had sent Mira’s entry but her performance is not very proper right now. We are working on her snatch technique a little.’
IMAGE: India head coach Vijay Sharma said that the decision to withdraw Mirabai Chanu from the World Championship is a strategic one. Photograph: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images
Olympic silver medallist weightlifter Mirabai Chanu will miss the World Championship and the Commonwealth Senior Championship slated to take place simultaneously between December 7 to 17 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
Chanu, who won a silver medal in the women’s 49kg category at the Tokyo Olympics earlier this year and is also a former world champion, withdrew from the two events on the advice of India head coach Vijay Sharma.
“Our main aim (for World Championship and Commonwealth Senior Championship) is that the lifters qualify for next year’s Commonwealth Games,” Sharma said.
“We had sent Mira’s entry but her performance is not very proper right now. We are working on her snatch technique a little.
“Her qualification (for Commonwealth Games) is not an issue because she won the silver in Olympics and she is also ranked number one at the moment,” he added.
The Commonwealth Senior Championship was earlier scheduled to be held in Singapore from October 20 to 24 but was cancelled due to COVID-19. It will now take place simultaneously and at the same venue alongside the world championship next month.
28 weightlifters from the country, including Youth Olympic gold medallist Jeremy Lalrinnunga, will be competing in the tournament.
Chanu, who holds the world record in the clean and jerk event in the 49kg category after she successfully heaved 119kg in the Asian Championship last year, has struggled to stay at par with her Chinese opponents in the snatch section.
The 27-year-old has, in her own words, struggled while lifting weights in the snatch due to an imbalance that affects her right shoulder and back.
Chanu had also consulted Dr. Aaron Horschig, a former weightlifter-turned-physical therapist and strength and conditioning coach in the US, which helped her immensely in winning the silver medal in Tokyo.
Asked if Chanu is planning to go back to the US for training, Sharma said, “There’s no need for it right now.”
Sharma said that the decision to withdraw from the World Championship is a strategic one.
“She is not facing any problem but it’s just that we are thinking strategically which events to take part in and which to miss.
“She has been participating in competitions continuously since the past five years. We have prepared but it’s not enough for this event.
“She would have had to take extra load for this event so I advised her to miss it,” he said.
However, last month, Chanu had revealed she still feels pain sometimes while lifting heavy weights.
“The issue is sorted, but sometimes, I still get pain in the right shoulder and back because of the imbalance. But there is a lot of improvement from before,” she had said.
“Right now there is no plan to go to the US because there is World Championship in December. After this we will maybe plan. I am consulting him (Horschig) online what to do.”
Asian Championship gold medallist Jhilli Dalabehera, who earlier competed in the 45kg category, will represent India in Chanu’s category at the event.