Indian weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu won a gold medal at the EGAT Cup in Thailand, her first after recovering from a lower back injury that kept her out of action for major events in 2018. Thanks to a 192 kg effort in the 49kg category, Chanu clinched gold in the Olympic qualifying event. The points from the events will count in the final rankings for the Tokyo 2020. "This is my first international event after recovering from injury. I am feeling 100 per cent fit but since this is first one after injury, it is not the best result," Chanu said.
"But this is just four kg less than my personal best of 196kg. I am quite satisfied and happy with my performance. I had won World Championships in 2017 with 194kg," she added.
The 24-year-old Manipuri lifted 82kg in snatch and 110kg in clean and jerk to finish on top of the podium after recovering from the injury, which required extensive physiotherapy and kept her out of action for nine months.
Japan's Miyake Hiromi (183kg) claimed the silver, while the bronze went to Papua New Guinea's Loa Dika Toua (179kg). While Hiromi is the Rio Olympics bronze-medallist Dika Toua won the 53kg category silver medal in the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.
Chanu had missed the world championships last year, a gold level Olympic qualifier, owing to the injury which had also forced her out of the Asian Games in Jakarta.
"My next target is the Asian Championships in China, followed by the world championships, which is very crucial for me," Chanu said.
Chanu was last seen in action at the Gold Coast CWG where she won gold with an effort of 196kg.
She had then lifted 86kg in snatch and 110kg in clean and jerk, a Games record and also her personal best.
(With PTI inputs)