Mirabai Chanu flops at Asian Games after being “pushed” into competition

Mirabai Chanu's terrible injury at Asian Games 2023 held in Hangzhou, China puts Indian's Paris Olympics dreams in doubt


Mirabai Chanu flops at Asian Games after being “pushed” into competition

Mirabai Chanu in pain (Image Via: Times of India/X)

Mirabai Chanu flopped, if that’s the headline, it is a ruthless one. The queen of Indian weightlifting had a miserable day at the Asian Games on Saturday. She finished fourth, which is not the real story.

Contrary to the perception that Mirbai Chanu got injured during the Asian Games competition today, a thigh one, that is not the real story. Even before the event began today, there was a cloud of uncertainty over risking the Indian diva in competition.

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Before the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, Mirabai had spent time in the United States of America with Aaron Horschig, a brilliant strength trainer. Horschig is well known in sporting circles for his ability to transform athletes into heroes. He has been in sport himself. At that time, doctors and physios in India were unable to handle Mirabai’s back problem. She had been complaining of back pain for years.

The latest is, that before coming to China, Mirabai was not a 100 percent fit. She was dealing with a hip injury, though not a serious one. Speaking to this writer, Sahdev Yadav of the Indian Weightlifting Federation revealed Mirabai was not in peak shape. “There is nothing serious but the hip injury is such that she is advised to rest if she takes an injection. Our main goal is that she should be fit for the Paris Olympics next year,” Sahdev Yadav had told this writer on Saturday morning.

Related: Rohan Bopanna and Rutuja Bhosale’s remarkable campaign brings golden glory for India at the Asian Games

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Will Mirabai Chanu ‘have Paris’ after the Asian Games mishap?

The question is, if Mirabai was advised by doctors to take an injection, possibly corticosteroids, and then rest for four weeks, why was she flogged? To push her into competition was an awful plan. To have suffered defeat is one thing but by attempting to “load her” in competition, she may actually have done more damage to her body.

Mirabai Chanu Asian Games
Mirabai Chanu’s injury at the Asian Games

In India, there is a tendency to flog athletes in certain sports. People forget it is a human body. In weightlifting, no athlete is 100 percent fit. There are niggles and pain to deal with. More important, the degree of withstanding pain is the key.

If the Indian camp knew about Mira not being a 100 percent fit, she should not have been pushed into competition. It may well be worth investigating who pushed Mirabai to go and compete out there. The Tokyo Olympics silver medalist needed rest and treatment. With the federation itself admitting Mirabai’s primary focus is the next Olympics, there was no need to make things worse for her.

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Maybe, it is a ploy to say she had a thigh injury today to deflect attention. The real story is she was never fit before leaving India. Sad, isn’t it?

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