|Mirabai ranked eighth in latest Olympic qualification rankings| NEW DELHI, Jan 2: On course to seal a berth for the Tokyo Games, former world champion Mirabai Chanu maintained her eighth spot in the Olympic qualifiers ranking list released by the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) on Thursday.
In the race for Olympic qualification, the 25-year-old, who competes in the 49kg category, has gathered 2966.6406 ranking points till now.
To qualify for Tokyo, a weightlifter must compete in at least one event in each of the three periods of six months (spread over November 2018 to April 2020), at least six events overall and in at least one gold and silver level event.
“The ranking points are based on the number of events a lifter participates in and Mirabai has missed a few competitions, including the World Championship in 2018, due to her back injury,” National coach Vijay Sharma told PTI.
After recovering from a back injury, which marred her progress in 2018, Chanu has constantly improved her performance in 2019. She lifted 86kg in snatch and a personal best of 113kg in clean and jerk for a total of 199kg at the Asian Championships in April last year to miss the bronze medal by a whisker.
Her best performance came at the World championship in September, when the Manipuri breached the much anticipated 200kg mark by lifting her personal best in all three sections. In snatch, she lifted 87kg, followed by 114kg in clean and jerk for a total of 201kg.
However, Chanu ended the year on a bittersweet note as she won gold at the Qatar International Cup - an Olympic qualifying silver level event – but her effort of 194kg was way below her personal best.
The latest qualifying rankings feature three Chinese weightlifters in the top five. Reigning World Champion and world record holder Hou Zhihui (4703.1982) heads the list while Jiang Huihua (4667.8878) and Zhang Rong (3837.8294) occupy the second and fourth spots respectively.
However, only one of the three Chinese lifters will compete at the Olympics as a nation can send no more than one athlete each per weight category. Ri Song Gum of North Korea is placed third with 4209.4909 points. – PTI