NEW DELHI: Tokyo Olympics silver medallist weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu feels that it’s not easy for her to live up to the expectations of fans every time.
However, the 27-year-old lifter from Manipur expressed hope that she would not disappoint people with her performance in the upcoming Commonwealth Games.
India have been the best performers in weightlifting in 1990, 2002 and 2018 and the Chanu-led 15-member strong team is again hoping to repeat their winning streak at Birmingham.
Mirabai went on to break the Games record enroute the gold medal at the 2018 CWG at Gold Coast and all eyes will be on her to win the gold because of her Tokyo 2020 performance.
One of the most decorated athletes in India, Mirabai vowed to make the country proud with another stellar performance in the upcoming marquee event.
“I know what the fans want. I will try my best to do well in the CWG. I have done a lot of work on my overall training. After Tokyo, I have been focusing mainly on my technique and right now I can only assure you that everything is fine with my training and technique. I have done a lot of work on that. So I am hopeful for better results,” she told IANS.
India are the second most successful country in the history of the Commonwealth Games with 125 medals in this sport. Only Australia (159) have won more medals than India in weightlifting at the CWG.
“CWG is comparatively easier as many world class weightlifters from China and North Korea do not participate in it. But that doesn’t mean there is no competition. I will try my best to go beyond my personal best. I have to give my best performance keeping in mind the future tournaments,” she said.
Due to her consistent performance, Mirabai had qualified for the Rio Olympics. However, her performance in Rio was not up to the expectations. She failed to lift the weight in all three clean and jerk attempts.
Leaving the Rio debacle behind, Mirabai performed brilliantly in the 2017 World Championships in Anaheim, California, lifting a total of 194 kg (85 in snatch and 107 in clean and jerk), which was a competition record.
She set the CWG record in 2018 (in 49kg category) for snatch (86 kg), clean & and erk (110 kg) and the total (196 kg). In Birmingham she will compete to break her own world record.
“The Birmingham CWG is also preparation 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 am hoping for a good show.
“I wanted to test all the work I’ve done on improving my snatch. This is like a trial for me. I want to see how much I’ve improved. It will help me to do better in other events and of course at the Paris Games,” she added.