Indian weightlifter Mirabai Chanu, who made her country proud by winning the silver medal at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics 2020, might have a chance of winning the gold medal in the 49 kg women’s category. Mirabai, who lifted a combined weight of 202 kg, fell short by just 8 kg from the gold medal winner China’s Zhizhi Hou, who lifted 210 kg and created a new record.
Zhizhi Hou has been asked by the anti-doping authorities to stay back for a dope test. If she fails to clear the dope test, Mirabai Chanu will be awarded the gold medal.
A source close to the development said, “She has been asked to stay in Tokyo and the test will be done. The test is definitely happening.”
The rules of the games clearly state that if an athlete fails to clear the dope test, the one who has won the silver medal would be awarded gold.
Mirabai had lifted a total of 202 kg — 87 kg in snatch and 115 kg in clean and jerk — thereby opening India’s account in the medal tally in the Olympics this year.
Mirabai Chanu became only the second Indian athlete to bag a medal in the Olympics in weightlifting after Karnam Malleswari’s bronze medal win in the 2000 Sydney Olympics in the 69 kg category.
Five years ago, at the Rio Olympics, Chanu Saikhom Mirabai could not record even a single valid lift in the clean and jerk round. She broke down, depression seeped in. But even in that state, the Meitei community girl from Manipur did one thing right. She didn’t give up.
Mirabai defeated depression, battled through injury and today, did what she couldn’t in Rio — winning an Olympic medal for the country, the first for India at Tokyo 2020.
Apart from Mirabai, it has been a disappointing show for the Indian athletes as Manika Batra, Sumit Nagal, Sutirtha Mukherjee all crashed out of the Olympics after their respective losses. Indian men’s hockey team lost to Australia while the shooters crumbled under pressure. The men’s archery team lost to South Korea in the quarter-finals.