Mirabai Chanu resumes training in Patiala, Paris Olympics dreams are alive

Mirabai Chanu, Source: X

Mirabai Chanu has resumed training at the SAI NIS Patiala centre in Punjab. Bronze medal winner at the Tokyo Olympics, Mirabai is one of India’s medal prospects at the Paris Olympics in July 2024. However, her long break was worrying for fans of the Olympic sports in India.

Speaking to RevSportz on Wednesday, Sahdev Yadav, President of the Indian weightlifting federation said “Mira is pain free and her plans to prepare for the Paris are in order.” Asked if she was just doing strength training, Sahdev retorted, “There is no preparation for the Olympics unless she is lifting weights. And she is doing it now,” he said.

There have been contrasting reports in the media that Mirabai is still not fully fit and has medical issues relating to her thigh and shoulder. However, Sahdev Yadav clarified she is present at the camp in Patiala. “We have not yet decided on her trip abroad to be with Aaaron Horschig in the United States of America. Right now, there is nothing to worry about,” added the weightlifting federation head.

When Mirabai broke down at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, there was panic all round. She was unable to go through all her “lifts” and the thigh injury looked dangerous. On return to India, she was presented before Dr Dinesh Pardiwala, a well-known ortho surgeon in Mumbai who has operated upon other leading Indian athletes as well. It includes wrestler Vinesh Phogat as well.

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Mirabai had gone to Doha, Qatar, for the mandatory weigh-in last month, which is essential for participation in the Paris Olympics. There is one more event in Thailand in February but the Indian weightlifting federation is in no hurry to press her back into competition.
“The process of increasing the workload will be gradual, where is the hurry,” said Sahdev Yadav.

After her failure to win a medal in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Mirabai was distraught. She was crying profusely and went back into training at national camps rather than going home to Manipur. However, her back injury was worrying her for a long time.

After a lot of research, the think-tank zeroed in on sending Mirabai to the Aaron Horschig base in the USA. He is a leading physical therapist who guides athletes in the best possible way. Having been an Olympic competitor in weightlifting and also a coach, he is well versed with the nuances of training athletes who have faced injury and trauma.

The list of his famous trainees in rehab and strength training include athletes from backgrounds of NFL, baseball and basketball. Mirabai has been all praise for Horschig in the past. On her return from Tokyo, she had told this writer of wanting to better her “medal shade” in Paris. Indeed, after the injury episode in October, her return to training is good news.

She is still a medal prospect for India, even though she did not compete in major competitions in 2023. “Injuries are part of this sport, there is no need to get alarmed. Mira is a strong girl and we all are confident she will be in good shape for the Paris Olympics,” Karnam Malleswari, India’s first Olympics medallist told RevSportz on Wednesday. The ironwoman had won a historic bronze medal at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.

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