Former world champion Mirabai Chanu will not register a single lift at the upcoming 2023 World Weightlifting Championships in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, according to reports. Instead, the 29-year-old will only attend the weigh-in to mark her presence at the global competition.
Participation at the World Championships, which is scheduled to be held next month, is mandatory for the lifters to be eligible to compete at the 2024 Paris Olympics next year.
The rules set by the International Weightlifting Federation, though, does not require the competitors to register a lift in the event. Chanu currently sits second in the women’s 49kg Paris Olympics quaalification ranking, only behind China’s Jiang Huihua.
Chanu has reportedly taken this decision to keep herself fit for the upcoming 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou, which will begin a week after the World Championships.
“Mira will give her body weight at the competition as the World Championships is an Olympic qualifying event and a mandatory one,” Chanu’s coach Vijay Sharma was quoted as saying by Sportstar.
“So, she will just take part in the weigh-in to mark her presence. It is not possible to compete in two back-to-back events,” he added.
The Manipuri weightlifter has been grappling with minor injuries off late. The event in Riyadh was supposed to mark her return to elite competition since her sixth-place finish at the Asian Championships in May.
Chanu, who was crowned the world champion in 2017, has won medals at all the major competitions except the Asian Games. She had pulled out of the previous edition of the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta with back trouble and had requested time to prepare for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualifiers instead.
The Indian challenge at the 2023 World Weightlifting Championships will now be led by Bindyarani Devi in women’s 55kg. She will be joined by Shubam Todkar (61kg), Achinta Sheuli, N Ajith (73kg), and Gurdeep Singh (+109kg) at the event.