A heartbreak at 2016 Rio Olympics has made Indian weightlifter Mirabai Chanu wiser and stronger by her own admission as she “learned everything from Rio – from my weaknesses to how to rectify them, how to improve myself in terms of training and performance in competition”. Chanu was “completely broken” after she failed to get an overall total in women’s 48kg category as she failed to lift the weight in any of her three attempts in clean and jerk. Five years later, she wrote a fine redemption song by creating a world record in clean and jerk, lifting 119kg. Coupled with 86kg in snatch, a total of 205kg gave her the bronze medal at the Asian Weightlifting Championships. 

Chanu revealed earlier this year that she had to consult a psychologist after the failure at Rio Olympics. 

“Players need psychologist a lot. Sometimes we feel really dull, we don’t feel like training or if we get injured during training, we feel low. At that time a psychologist helps a lot. They motivate us,” Chanu said. 

“After I failed in the Rio Olympics I was completely broken. I had aspirations of winning a medal but I was not able to do so. So, I kept thinking ‘after working so hard why did I fail”. 

“There were a lot of questions in my mind. Then I spoke to the psychologist at SAI (Sports Authority of India). They told me it was my first Olympics so there was more pressure, expectations were really high and these were all the things that I had been feeling.

“I spoke to them about what I can do. After that slowly I was able to get back and do well,” she added. 

Consulting the psychologist helped as Chanu roared back into form by winning gold at 2017 World Championship and 2018 Commonwealth Games. 

With her eyes set at Tokyo, Chanu now wants to challenge China, who think “no one can lift more than them”. 

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“I don’t want a silver in the Olympics, I want gold,” Chanu told PTI earlier this year. 

“I have to go beyond the Chinese lifters. They think that no one can lift more than them but I want to break that. I can fight with them.”

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