With Mirabai not in medal contention, weightlifting Worlds set to be an underwhelming affair for India

Riyadh, Sep 3 (PTI) Ejected from the Asian Games squad, N Ajith and Achinta Sheuli will have a point to prove while Mirabai Chanu will merely mark her presence by attending the weigh-in at the World Championships, which is a compulsory Paris Olympic qualifier.

Chanu (49kg) has removed herself from medal contention at the marquee event starting here on Monday as the former champion will not be lifting the barbell in order to save her best for the Asian Games, starting later this month.

She will only complete the necessary formalities to remain eligible for the Paris Games.

With Chanu not lifting, the Worlds are set to be an underwhelming affair for her country. No Indian lifter will be in medal contention as none of them have entered a starting weight worthy of Group A classification.

The lifters who register the highest entry weight are placed in group A, followed by B and so on.

Ajith and Sheuli were unceremoniously dumped from the Asiad squad last month as they didn’t meet the Sports Ministry’s selection criteria. The two, who compete in the 73kg category, will want to put their best foot forward here.

Ajith, the reigning national champion, has logged in an entry weight of 305kg and has been assigned Group C.

The Commonwealth Championships gold medallist had some niggles but has recovered and will be aiming to close in on the 320kg mark.

“I have been lifting 318kg in training, I want to reach 320kg,” Ajith told PTI.

Meanwhile, Sheuli has struggled with injuries since being crowned the CWG champion last year. His previous Worlds campaign ended in heartbreak as he pulled his hamstring during the warm-ups last year.

The Kolkata lifter is still struggling with a backache and perhaps that’s why has registered an entry weight of just 280kg, which is a far cry from his personal best of 313kg, for a place in Group D.

Shubham Todkar (61kg) is the third male lifter from India. The Maharashtra lifter hasn’t been at his best in the two international tournaments he has competed in and will be keen to give a better account of himself.

“For the World Championships I want to increase my snatch to 125kg and clean and jerk up till 155kg,” he said.

Competing in Olympic weight classes, all three lifters will aim to collect the required ranking points to qualify for the Paris Games.

Asian Championships silver medallist Bindyrani Devi will also be in action. Like Chanu, Bindyarani is also focussing on the Asian Games.

The 24-year-old has been placed in Group C in the women’s 55kg event, which is a non-Olympic weight class.

Under the 2024 Olympic qualification rule, the 2023 World Championships and the 2024 World Cup are compulsory events.

Apart from these two tournaments, a lifter also has to participate in three of the following events — the 2022 World Championships, the 2023 Continental Championships, the 2023 Grand Prix 1, the 2023 Grand Prix II and the 2024 Continental Championships.

The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) will publish the Olympic Qualification Rating (OQR) of each weight category at the end of the qualification period.

A weightlifter’s best three performances at the qualifying events will be taken into account for final assessment.

Indian Squad ======== Women: Mirabai Chanu (49kg), Bindyarani Devi (55kg) Men: Shubham Todkar (61kg), Achinta Sheuli (73kg), Narayana Ajith (73kg).

Source: PTI News


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