Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games | Not easy to meet fans’ expectations every time, says Mirabai Chanu

Weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu, who won a silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, finds it difficult for him to always meet the expectations of fans. The 27-year-old weightlifter from Manipur expressed his optimism that his efforts at the upcoming Commonwealth Games 2022 will not let his fans down.

India dominated the weightlifting world in 1990, 2002 and 2018, and their 15-member squad, led by Chanu, expect to continue their victories in Birmingham. All eyes will be on Mirabai to win gold with her performance at Tokyo 2020. Mirabai went on to break the Games record en route to gold at CWG 2018 in Gold Coast.

Mirabai, one of India’s most distinguished athletes, is determined to give another outstanding performance at the next big competition.

“I know what the fans want. I will do my best to do well in the CWG. I worked a lot on my overall training. After Tokyo, I focused mainly on my technique and for now I can only assure you that everything is fine with my training and my technique. I worked a lot on that. So I hope to get better results,” she told IANS.

With 125 medals in the sport, India is the second most successful nation in the history of the Commonwealth Games. India is the only nation to have won more CWG weightlifting medals than Australia (159).

“The CWG is relatively easier because many world-class weightlifters from China and North Korea do not participate. But that does not mean that there is no competition. I will do my best to go beyond my personal best. I have to give my best performance keeping in mind the future tournaments,” she said.

Mirabai was eligible to compete in the Rio Olympics thanks to her consistent performances. His performance in Rio, however, fell short of expectations. The three clean and jerk efforts prevented her from lifting the weight.

Mirabai excelled at the 2017 World Championships in Anaheim, Calif., leaving the Rio disaster in the rearview mirror. She set a competition record by lifting a total of 194 kg (85 in the snatch and 107 in the clean and jerk).

She set the CWG records for snatch (86 kg), clean and erk (110 kg) and total in 2018 (in the 49 kg division) (196 kg). She will try to break her own world record in Birmingham.

“The Birmingham CWG is also preparing for the Paris Olympics. After this event, I have to start preparing for the Olympic qualification. The CWG will help me rectify my weakness. So I hope for a good show.

“I wanted to test all the work I’ve done to improve my snatch. It’s like a test for me. I want to see how much I’ve improved. It will help me do better in other events and of course at the Paris Games,” she added.

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