After months of inactivity, Indian weightlifters will finally be able to participate in an international event in April. The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) confirmed dates and venue for the 2020 Asian Championships. The tournament will be held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
In their bid to qualify for the Olympics, weightlifters have to participate in at least six competitions throughout the overall period starting November 1, 2018, and Tashkent event will be sixth for Indian lifters Mirabai Chanu and Jeremy Lalrinnunga. Eyeing participation in the Asian Championships, the weightlifters, who are currently camping in Mumbai, will shift their base to NIS Patiala. Given their world rankings, Mirabai (49kg) and Jeremy (67kg) are certain to make an Olympic cut once they compete in Uzbekistan.
The International Weightlifting Federation Gold Level event will also act as an Olympic qualifying event for Asian athletes. While Mirabai Chanu and Jeremy Lalrinnunga will take the floor in the women’s 49kg and the men’s 67kg categories, respectively, the meet will also see the 2018 Commonwealth Games champion Sathish Sivalingam compete in the men’s 81kg category.
Mirabai Chanu and Jeremy Lalrinnunga have all but sealed their place for the Tokyo Olympics later this year. A strong show at the Asian championships will not only help them strengthen their claim but also act as a perfect build-up ahead of Tokyo 2020. The weightlifting competition at the Tokyo Games will see 14 competitors in each category. The top eight on the IWF world rankings charts, with a maximum of one lifter per nation, will gain a direct entry into the Olympics.
Five slots are allotted to the highest-ranked lifter from the five continents with the final slot reserved for the host nation. While Mirabai Chanu — a former world champion — is ranked fourth in the 49kg weight division, Jeremy Lalrinnunga, the gold medallist from the 2018 Youth Olympics, is the highest-ranked Asian outside the top-eight. He is placed 22nd in the 67kg category.
The Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) has selected seven weightlifters for the Asian championships to be held in Tashkent from April 16 to 25. The squad: Men: Jeremy Lalrinnunga (67kg), Achinta Sheuli (73kg), S. Sathish Kumar (81kg). Women: Jhilli Dalabehera (45kg), S. Mirabai Chanu and Sneha Soren (both 49kg), P. Anuradha (87kg).
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