India woman weightlifter Mirabai Chanu's participation at the Asian Games 2018 at Jakarta is doubtful as India chief coach on Monday said that he recommended Mirabai to forfeit from the tournament so that she can be fit for the Olympic qualifiers that will be held later this year. Mirabai, who won the gold medal at the recently-concluded Commonwealth Games 2018 at Gold Coast, Australia, has been struggling with a lower-back problem since May and is yet to begin her full-fledged training.
According to reports in certain sections of the media, coach Vijay Sharma said, "I have submitted a report to the federation. Now they have to take a decision. I am of the opinion that in such less time it's not good to take heavy load. The Olympic qualifiers event is approaching and that is more important than the Asian Games."
Various reports further suggested that Mirabai had travelled to Mumbai last week to resume training and start mobility exercises.
The World Championship, which will be the first Olympic qualifying event this year, is scheduled to be held in Ashgabat from November 1 and coach Sharma doesn't want to aggravate the injury.
"She is in constant touch with the federation. She was okay but felt slight pain yesterday in training. She stopped training but has resumed it again today," he added.
Talking about the lower-back injury, the coach said, "It is a rare problem, the doctors say there might be small tear in the ligament. That is why the MRI's and CT scans are coming clean."
Meanwhile, IWF Secretary Sahdev Yadav said the final decision will be made by Thursday.
One of the strongest contenders for gold medal in Jakarta, Mirabai's absence will come as a huge setback for India.
In November 2017, the Manipuri, who participated in the 48 kg category, had clinched India's first gold at the World Championship in 22 years after lifting 194kg (85kg+109kg) at Anaheim, USA.
She had bagged the gold at the CWG in April by lifting a personal best of 196kg (86kg+110kg), a national record.