Why Mirabai Chanu is favourite to win a medal at Tokyo Olympics?

Mirabai Chanu will compete in the Women's 49kg in Weightlifting at Tokyo Olympics 2020. She is among the top contenders to claim a medal for India in Tokyo.

Mirabai chanu
Mirabai Chanu

India has several medal contenders at the Tokyo Olympics this year, and the country is expected to have a good outing at the Summer Olympics 2021. Among the several positives to take heading into the Olympics, India fields its largest contingent of female athletes this year, as the number goes northwards up to 56.

Mirabai Chanu is among the top contenders to claim a medal for India at the Tokyo Olympics. The 26-year old is India’s sole representative in the Weightlifting Event, and as such, a lot is expected from the her. Mirabai Chanu had a poor outing at the Rio Olympics 2016, as she was unable to complete any clean and jerk attempt. However, she is ready to bury the ghosts of the previous Games, and is all set to claim a medal in Tokyo.

Why Mirabai Chanu is favourite to win a medal at Tokyo Olympics? Find Out

Mirabai Chanu will participate in the 49kg category, and is ranked second in her category. She claimed a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games 2014, and also scripted history by claiming the gold medal at World Weightlifting Championships 2017 in USA.

She created a new world record during the 2021 Asian Championships in the Women’s 49kg event, where she lifted a total of 119kgs in the clean and jerk event. Among her biggest achievements, she also claimed a gold medal at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Over the past few years, Mirabai Chanu has learnt to deal with pressure, and has often delivered on the biggest stages of all. For an athlete, it is necessary to have a strong mindset, which Mirabai Chanu has developed in the recent past.

Threats to Mirabai Chanu’s medal hopes at Tokyo Olympics

Mirabai Chanu
Mirabai Chanu

Mirabai Chanu enters the event as the world number two in her category (49kg). However, the 26-year-old must be wary of the Chinese threat, as they are expected to have two athletes on the podium for the event. Hou Zhihui is the world number one ranked weightlifter in this category, and lifted 213kg at the 2021 Asian Championships, which is the highest total of all participating athletes.

Jiang Huihua is ranked third in the Women’s 49kg category, and has lifted a total of 207 kgs spread across the clean and jerk, and snatch events. Mirabai Chanu’s personal best stands at 205kgs, which is lower than that of her Chinese rivals.

Mirabai Chanu’s biggest strength will be her three attempts in the clean and jerk section, where she set a new world record (119 kg) at the Asian Championships this year.

Mirabai Chanu’s performance heading into the Olympics

Her preparations for Tokyo Olympics started in 2019, when she claimed the Gold Medal at the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships. She lifted a total 191kg which includes 84kg in the snatch event, and 107kg in the clean and jerk section.

She crossed the total of 200kg for the first time in her career at World Championships in Pattaya in 2019, but could finish only fourth at the event by recording a score of 201kg. She bounced back in style at the Qatar International Cup, where she won the Gold with a total score of 194kg.

EventSnatchClean and JerkTotal
Commonwealth Championships 201984kg107kg191kg
World Championships 201987kg114kg201kg
Qatar International Cup 201983kg111kg194kg
Nationals 202088kg115kg203kg
2021 Asian Championships86kg119kg205kg
Mirabai Chanu’s recent performances

At the Nationals event in 2020, she recorded her personal best total of 203kgs to claim the Gold Medal. The final step in her preparation was the 2021 Asian Championships, where she claimed a Gold Medal, by recording a total of 205kg, which includes a world record of 119kg in the clean and jerk attempt.

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