N. Soniya Chanu is steadily climbing the ladder. Even as her eyes are fixed on the London Olympics, the 2010 Commonwealth Games silver medallist does not want to talk too much too early.

Soniya, considered a gold medal prospect in women’s 48kg class in the last Commonwealth Games, had lifted a total of 167kg to be soundly beaten by Nigerian Augustina Nkem Nwaokolo. The Manipur-born lifter showed her resolve and improved a few notches in the last World Championships and the Asian Championships.


Her consistency has given Soniya the opportunity to participate in her maiden Olympics. Though she is yet to know about the entries from other participating countries, the lone Indian woman lifter is aware of the nature of the contests in an Olympics.

Soniya has not set any target but for one. “I hope to do better than my Asian championships performance (175kg). If I manage to do whatever I am doing in my practice, I will be happy. I am aiming for a total of 178-180kg,” said Soniya during a recent chat.

“After gaining an Olympics berth, I have worked hard and that is why I expect a good result. I cannot say whether I can win a medal. If I do well, people will say good things. If I do badly, people will say bad things. It is better not to say anything (about finishes).”

The 32-year-old policewoman from Uttar Pradesh was excited like a teenager about her Olympics participation.

“Tension is building up as the Games are coming closer. Still, I am 100 per cent focused on my performance.”

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