Celebrated Indian lifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu on Thursday breached the magical 200kg mark at the 2019 World Weightlifting Championships in Pattaya, Thailand to set a new national record. (More Sports News)
Mirabai, who won the World title in women's 48kg two years ago, lifted personal best of 201kg to finish fourth in the 49kg division and finish fourth, behind two Chinese and a North Korean rivals.
The 25-year-old from Manipur lifted 87kg in the snatch and 114 kg in the clean and jerk attempt -- both personal best -- to register a total of 201kg. This is a new national record as well.
Her previous best had been 199kg.
Two Chinese lifters and one North Korean lifter registered heavier lifts than Mirabai. However, with only one Chinese lifter likely to go to the next Olympics, Mirabai is in good stead to grab a medal at Tokyo 2020 – going by the results on Thursday.
Jiang Huihua of China lifted 212kg (94kg+118kg) in total to take the gold medal, and also break compatriot Hou Zhihui's world record. Zhihui lifted 210kg to take the silver. North Korea's Ri Song Gum claimed lifted 204kg (89kg+115kg) to take the bronze medal.
Mirabai has lifted 203kg in practice, but breaching the 200-mark is a huge achievement for the diminutive lifter. With defending champion Chayuttra Pramongthol's future uncertain after the doping controversy surrounding Thailand weightlifting and due to the fact that there will be only one Chinese lifter in the next year's Tokyo Olympics, Mirabai reaching a new peak sure sounds good for India.
Mirabai had been nursing a back injury, which kept her out of action for almost a year.