India’s world record holder weightlifter Mirabai Chanu has learned her lessons from the in Rio meltdown five years ago and is now confident of doing well at the Tokyo Olympics. Last month, Mirabai had revealed that she was “completely broken” after the failure at the 2016 Rio Olympics and talking to a psychologist helped her get back on track. She said she has evolved as a weightlifter since the last Olympics, changing and tweaking techniques. “I learned a lot by participating in the Rio Olympics,” Mirabai said in a video posted by Sports Authority of India (SAI) on Monday.
“In fact, I have learned everything from Rio — from my weaknesses to how to rectify them, how to improve myself in terms of training and performance in competition,” she said.
Mirabai had put up a highly disappointing performance at the Rio Games as she could not get an overall total in women’s 48kg after failing to lift the weight in any of her three attempts in clean & jerk section.
But since then, she has won the gold medal in the World Championship and Commonwealth Games, and things are looking bright for the 26-year-old Manipuri athlete.
Asked about deriving inspiration, it was no surprise when she mentioned the name of Kunjarani Devi, the first superstar of Indian weightlifting.
“I would look up to Kunjarani madam a lot, she was a top player, and from Manipur. I would also think that I have to be like madam, win lots of medals like her.
“Whenever I am in any doubt or under any sort of pressure, I look at my videos and try to motivate myself,” Mirabai said.
Among others, Kunjarani, 53, won seven world championships silver medals and two Asian Games bronze during a decorated career.
When asked about her message to fellow Tokyo-bound athletes, Padma Shri Mirabai said, “I wish all the luck to all athletes who have qualified for the Olympics. We all must strive to give our best for India and the country on top.”
The Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to be held from July 23 to August 8.
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