Asian weightlifting: Mirabai Chanu, Jeremy Lalrinnunga seek Tokyo Olympics spots

While world No. 4 Mirabai Chanu’s chances look good after North Korean Ri Song Gum’s withdrawal, Jeremy Lalrinnunga will hope to earn crucial ranking points. Watch live!

By Rahul Venkat

Former world champion and Rio 2016 Olympian Mirabai Chanu will be hoping to earn a quota place for a second consecutive Olympics when the Asian Weightlifting Championships get underway at Tashkent, Uzbekistan on Saturday.

Mirabai Chanu, 2017 world champion in the 48kg and a Commonwealth Games gold and silver-medallist, now competes in the 49kg category, a Tokyo 2020 event.

The weightlifting qualification rules for the Tokyo Olympics state the top-eight in the world rankings in each weight category as of April 30, 2021, will qualify for the Games.

Mirabai Chanu is currently ranked world No. 4 in the 49kg category.

By taking part in the Asian meet, Mirabai will complete the criteria of participating in six eligible events in a period starting November 1, 2018 – another requirement of qualifying for the Olympics. Watch the Asian Weightlifting Championships live in India!

Mirabai Chanu’s chances of a good performance have increased after favourites North Korea opted out of the Tokyo Olympics, which means the 49kg world No. 3 Ri Song Gum won’t be taking part in the Asian meet.

Moreover, the Asian Weightlifting Championships are a gold-level qualification event for the Tokyo Olympics, which mean they offer the most ranking points for Tokyo 2020.

That criteria will be crucial for the chances of 67kg weightlifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga, who is the other best-placed Indian hoping for a quota place for the Tokyo Olympics.

Currently ranked world No. 22 on the qualification list, Jeremy will find it difficult to make the top-eight in time. However, he can boost his chances of earning a continental quota – of which only one is available per weight category – that is awarded to the highest-ranked weightlifter in each continental ranking list as of April 30, 2021.

This will be the first international tournament for Indian weightlifters since the Pattaya World championships in September 2019.

Indian squad at Asian Weightlifting Championships 2021

Women

45kg: Jhili Dalabehera

49kg: Mirabai Chanu, Sneha Soren

87kg: P Anuradha

Men

67kg: Jeremy Lalrinnunga

73kg: Achinta Sheuli

81kg: S Sathish Kumar

Asian Weightlifting Championships schedule for Indian weightlifters and live India start times for finals

All timings are in Indian Standard Time (IST)

Saturday, April 17

Women’s 45kg final (Jhili Dalabehera) - 4:30 PM IST

Women’s 49kg preliminaries and final (Mirabai Chanu, Sneha Soren) - 7:30 PM IST

Monday, April 19

Men’s 67kg preliminaries and final (Jeremy Lalrinnunga) - 7:30 PM IST

Tuesday, April 20

Men’s 73kg preliminaries and final (Achinta Sheuli) - 7:30 PM IST

Wednesday, April 21

Men’s 81kg preliminaries and final (S Sathish Kumar) - 7:30 PM IST

Saturday, April 24

Women’s 87kg preliminaries and final (P Anuradha) - 7:30 PM IST

Where to watch Asian Weightlifting Championships live in India?

Live streaming of the Asian Weightlifting Championships will be available on the International Weightlifting Federation’s (IWF) official Facebook page.