Mirabai Chanu treading cautiously in the run-up to the Paris Olympics

Published - June 27, 2024 08:24 pm IST - KOLKATA

Mirabai Chanu is taking care not to pick up an injury during training and is being careful about her technique, strength (training) and diet.

Mirabai Chanu is taking care not to pick up an injury during training and is being careful about her technique, strength (training) and diet. | Photo Credit: SHASHI SHEKHAR KASHYAP

Keen to add another Olympic medal to her silver in Tokyo, weightlifter Mirabai Chanu is taking precautions to avoid a repeat of her heart-breaking experience at the Hangzhou Asian Games last year.

For Mirabai, the only Indian lifter to have qualified for Paris 2024, the last Asian Games, where she injured her right hip during the competition and could not register a total, was a learning experience.

“I take care not to pick up an injury during my training. I am careful about my technique, strength (training) and diet. What I eat and recovery are important. What exercises I do and which muscles I focus on are also important,” said Mirabai during an interaction facilitated by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) on Thursday.

The ace lifter went through five months of rehab after the Asian Games and competed in the IWF World Cup in Phuket in April to successfully lift 184kg. It was 18kg less than her aggregate in the Tokyo Games, and she would need to lift more than 200kg to brighten her medal chances in Paris.

Mirabai Chanu practicing at the Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports, Patiala on June 12, 2024.

Mirabai Chanu practicing at the Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports, Patiala on June 12, 2024. | Photo Credit: SHASHI SHEKHAR KASHYAP

“Now I am lifting 80 to 85 per cent (of what I am capable of). There is a month left for the Games, I will increase my load gradually.”

The 29-year-old, who is going through mixed emotions ranging from excitement to anxiety to tension to nervousness, is scheduled to leave for Paris on July 7 to train there in the run-up to the Games.

“I have faced a lot in the last three years due to injuries. The competitors have changed. I wonder whether I can [win a] medal again. But if I give my 100 per cent, then I can get a medal for the country.

“I am privileged to get an opportunity to train in Paris ahead of the Olympics. I thank the SAI and the Indian Weightlifting Federation for their support.”

Mirabai also thanked her coach Vijay Sharma for his guidance. “I discuss everything with Vijay sir. He treats me like his daughter. My life changed after getting associated with him in 2014,” said Mirabai, looking forward to another successful Olympic campaign with her coach.

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