Mirabai Chanu betters own national record to secure gold

Guwahati: Indian weightlifter Mirabai Chanu Saikhom in action and win the gold medal in the women`s weightlifting, at 12th South Asian Games, in Guwahati on Feb. 6, 2016. (Photo: IANS/PIB)

Kolkata,  Mirabai Chanu on Tuesday bettered her own national record enroute to winning the ongoing senior National Weightlifting Championships in Kolkata. Mirabai lifted a total of 203 kg to win the 49 kg gold, bettering her previous record of 201 which she had achieved at the World Championships in Thailand last year.

The 25-year-old lifted 88 kgs in snatch and 115 kg in clean and jerk. This effort helped her to fourth place in the world rankings behind China’s Jiang Huihua (212 kg) and Hou Zhihui (211 kg) and Korea’s Ri Song Gum (209 kg).

The Nationals serve as a testing ground for Chanu and other leading weightlifters ahead of the Olympic gold event Asian Championships that will be held in April in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan.

Chanu had a smooth start by lifting 85 kg in snatch, and increased the weight to 88 kg for her second attempt, which was one kg more than the national record and her personal best of 87 kg.

She failed to lift 90 kg as she lost balance but at her favourite clean and jerk, Chanu raised the weight from 111 kg to 115 kg in her first two successful attempts and bettered her previous national record of 114 kg.

In her final attempt, she went for 116 kg and then opted for 117 kg but failed in her attempt to settle for a total of 203 kg, bettering three national records in the process.

Meanwhile, 21-year-old N Ajith from Tamil Nadu stunned defending champion and Commonwealth Championship gold medallist Achinta Sheuli with a national record show.

Ajith lifted 140 kg in snatch and 170 kg in clean and jerk for a total of 310 kg, which was 4 kg more than the defending champion Achinta who scored his personal best in both snatch (138 kg) and clean and jerk (168 kg) for a total of 306 kg.