Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 | Not Easy to Live Up to Expectations of Fans Every Time, says Mirabai Chanu

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Weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu, who won a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, believes it is difficult for her to always live up to fan expectations. The Manipur lifter, 27, expressed optimism that her effort at the next Commonwealth Games 2022 will not let down her fans.

India dominated the weightlifting world in 1990, 2002, and 2018, and their 15-member squad, captained by Chanu, is expecting to continue its winning ways in Birmingham. All eyes will be on Mirabai to win the gold medal because of her Tokyo 2020 performance. Mirabai went on to shatter the Games record on her way to the gold medal at the 2018 CWG at Gold Coast.

Mirabai, one of India's most distinguished athletes, is determined to give another outstanding performance in the next major competition.

“I know what the fans want. I will try my best to do well in the CWG. I have done a lot of work on my overall training. After Tokyo, I have been focusing mainly on my technique and right now I can only assure you that everything is fine with my training and technique. I have done a lot of work on that. So I am hopeful for better results," she told IANS.

With 125 medals in this sport, India is the second-most successful nation in the history of the Commonwealth Games. India is the only nation to have won more medals in weightlifting at the CWG than Australia (159).

“CWG is comparatively easier as many world-class weightlifters from China and North Korea do not participate in it. But that doesn’t mean there is no competition. I will try my best to go beyond my personal best. I have to give my best performance keeping in mind the future tournaments," she said.

Mirabai was eligible to compete in the Rio Olympics as a result of her steady performance. Her performance in Rio, however, fell short of expectations. All three clean and jerk efforts resulted in her being unable to raise the weight.

Mirabai excelled at the 2017 World Championships in Anaheim, California, leaving the Rio disaster in the rearview mirror. She set a competition record by lifting a total of 194 kg (85 in snatch and 107 in clean and jerk).

She established the CWG records for the snatch (86 kg), clean and erk (110 kg), and the total in 2018 (in the 49 kg division) (196 kg). She will try to beat her own world record in Birmingham.

“The Birmingham CWG is also preparation for the Paris Olympics. After this event, I have to start preparing for the Olympic qualification. The CWG will help me rectify my weakness. So I am hoping for a good show.

“I wanted to test all the work I’ve done on improving my snatch. This is like a trial for me. I want to see how much I’ve improved. It will help me to do better in other events and of course at the Paris Games," she added.

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