Star Indian lifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu has qualified for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in the 55kg weight category on Friday, February 25, by winning the gold in the Singapore Weightlifting International.
Competing in the 55kg weight class for the first time, Chanu lifted 191 kg (86kg+105kg) to stand on top of the podium in an uncompetitive field.
Australia's Jessica Sewastenko's was the second-placed lifter and her best effort was 167 kg (77kg+90kg), a whopping 24 kg less than Chanu's. Elly Cassandra Englebert of Malaysia claimed the third spot with the best effort of 165 kg (75kg+90kg), News18 reported.
"Happy to have qualified for the CWG 2022. My participation would not have been possible without the prompt response of @IndiaSports & @meaMADAD in facilitating the Vaccinated Travel Lane Pass for me and my team, without which we couldn't have travelled to Singapore for the event," Chanu wrote on her official Twitter handle.
"Six months of intense training and my never ending love for the sport continues to pay off as I qualify for the @CWG2022 🏋️♀️ I would like to extend my thanks to our @IndiaSports Weightlifting Federation of India @Media_SAI @OGQ_India & all the other stakeholders. #RoadToCWG22," she said in another tweet.
First Competitive Event Since Tokyo Games
Having pulled out of the world championships in December 2021, this was Chanu's first competitive event since the historic Tokyo Games performance last year, when she clinched the country's first silver medal in weightlifting at the Olympics.
Based on her Commonwealth rankings, the 27-year-old has also qualified for the Commonwealth Games in the 49 kg weight category.
However, to maximise India's chances of bagging more gold medals at the CWG, it is expected that Chanu will compete in the new 55kg weight division.
The Singapore Weightlifting International is a qualifying event for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The top eight lifters in each weight category in the ongoing tournament will directly qualify for the 2022 CWG.