A dodgy hip dashed star weightlifter Mirabai Chanu's hopes of a good outing at the Asian Championships as she could manage only two good lifts and finished a disappointing sixth in Jinju, Korea on Friday.
The Tokyo Olympics silver medallist, competing in the 49kg category, managed to lift 85kg in snatch and 109kg in clean and jerk for an underwhelming overall effort of 194kg.
Her personal best in snatch is 88kg and 119kg in clean and jerk.
Chanu could manage only one good lift in snatch and withdrew from the competition after her first clean and jerk attempt.
"Mira was experiencing some irritation in her left hip joint. If we had continued with lifts it could have resulted in an injury, so we decided not to risk it," head coach Vijay Sharma told PTI.
"Anyway, the aim was just to participate here. We just wanted to log one legal lift in the clean and jerk to put up a total."
Since the World Championships in December last, where Chanu won a silver with an overall effort of 200kg, Sharma has been saying that the focus is to just participate in the Olympic qualifiers. The plan is to peak at the Asian Games and at the events closer to the Olympics next year.
An Asian Games medal is the only one missing from the Manipuri's trophy cabinet.
Japan's Rira Suzuki, who was competing in the 'B' group finished with the same total 194kg (83kg+111kg) as Chanu. But since she completed her lift before Chanu, she finished ahead of the Indian.
Chanu started the snatch with an 85kg lift, which she executed perfectly.
She then set a weight of 88kg as she attempted to match her personal best. The Manipuri, however, failed to heave the barbell in her next two attempts and had to be content with an 85kg total in snatch.
Four lifters had better snatch results than Chanu, all lifting 90kg or above.
While Chanu herself has been trying to breach the 90kg-mark in snatch since 2020, Sharma had told PTI ahead of the tournament that the former world champion was unlikely to attempt the coveted lift here.
The last time Chanu competed at the Asian Championships in 2021, she had returned home with a bronze medal and a world record in clean and jerk (119kg).
However this time, she only attempted a 109kg lift in clean and jerk before deciding not to go for her final two attempts.
China's Jiang Huihua won the gold medal with a total lift of 207kg (94kg+113kg). She attempted to break Chanu's world record of 119kg with a 120kg lift in her final clean and jerk attempt but failed.
Tokyo Olympic gold medallist Hou Zhihui of China finished second as she heaved 204kg (93kg+111kg) while Thailand's Serodchana Khambao 200kg (90kg+110lg) bagged the bronze medal.
The ongoing championship is one of the qualifying events for the 2024 Paris Olympics, where weightlifting events will be cut from 14 at Tokyo Games to 10.
However, it is an additional event and not a compulsory one.
Under the 2024 Olympic qualification rule, a lifter has to compulsorily compete in the 2023 World Championships and the 2024 World Cup.
Apart from the two above, a lifter also has to participate in three of the following events -- the 2022 World Championships, the 2023 Continental Championships, the 2023 Grand Prix 1, the 2023 Grand Prix II and the 2024 Continental Championships.
The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) will publish the Olympic Qualification Rating (OQR) of each weight category at the end of the qualification period.
A weightlifter's best three performances at the qualifying events will be taken into account for final assessment.