When Mirabai Chanu visits the US in October she might be hoping the journey helps overcome a long-standing back drawback. With the Tokyo Olympics lower than a yr away, the Indian weightlifting medal hope is trying to regain prime form.
Chanu, the 2017 world championships gold medallist, triumphed on the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, however missed the Jakarta Asian Games and the world championships that adopted attributable to decrease back ache.
She made a powerful comeback in 2019, lifting 192kg to win the 49kg gold at EGAT Cup in Thailand and declare the title on the Commonwealth Championships. The back drawback although retains flaring up in coaching regardless of going through rehabilitation with physiotherapists.
Chanu and her group have now sought the assistance of Dr. Aaron Horschig, a physio and energy and conditioning coach primarily based in St Louis, US. Horschig, a former lifter, has spent over a decade competing in Olympic weightlifting and training. He is the founding father of Squat University and specialises in offering bio-mechanical options to weightlifters and powerlifters for accidents and pains.
“We were looking for someone who can deal with the specific nature of the back problem,” says Chanu’s coach Vijay Sharma.
“It is an old problem. Though she has not had trouble in competition, in training she sometimes faces the problem. We reduce the training load then. It looks like it has more to do with the biomechanics of the body. If the muscle is weak on one side, it tries to compensate for the overload on the other side.”
Chanu, who entered the 48kg class on the 2016 Rio Olympics and received the 2017 world championships in that division, now competes within the re-jigged 49kg class. The 25-year-old has pushed herself with every competition. At the 2019 world championships, she lifted 201 kg and on the nationwide championships in February, she bettered her individual mark by lifting 203 kg (87kg snatch, 114kg clear and jerk). She must still elevate the load to make sure of an Olympic medal. At the world championships, she missed the bronze, received by North Korea’s Ri Song Gum who lifted 204kg.
With the Tokyo Olympics virtually 10 months away, Chanu has time to kind out the back drawback. “We cannot ignore it if she has to perform at the optimum level. At the Olympics, it will be about small margins and we need to take everything into account to enhance her performance,” says Sharma.
The Sports Authority of India’s Mission Olympic Cell (MOC) sanctioned R40 lakh on Monday for the lifter’s two-month coaching and rehab stint within the US.