India’s Olympic silver-medallist in weightlifting, Mirabai Chanu, said she didn’t eat anything for two days leading up to her competition at the Tokyo Olympics due to concerns over her weight. Chanu, who won silver in women’s 49kg category on June 24, spoke about the need to maintain a strict diet and how she kept herself motivated after the setback at Rio Olympics among other things in a freewheeling chat with NDTV. “I didn’t eat anything for two days before the competition because I was concerned about my weight,” Chanu told NDTV.
On the difficulties she faced in maintaining her weight for the 49kg category, Chanu said: “It’s very difficult (to maintain weight). We need to strictly control our diet to maintain weight for this category.”
“Therefore I can’t eat junk food and my diet is limited to peas, meat etc.”
After a heartbreak at Rio Olympics, Chanu was adamant to turn things around at Tokyo and had said before the competition that she wants to win the gold medal for India.
On what drove such confidence in her to return with a medal from Tokyo, Chanu said: “I got the confidence (to win a medal) from Rio Olympics. After the disappointment at Rio, I had decided that I need to win a medal at the next competition – whichever it is – I take part in. I needed to give my best performance.
“My coach (Vijay Sharma) motivated me a lot and asked me to forget what happened at Rio and prepare for the future. It’s because of him that I have reached here.”
Chanu’s Olympic preparations were hindered by injuries and restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic that affected her preparations.
Chanu spoke about how she overcame all odds to compete and win at the Olympics.
“I couldn’t train at all during the lockdown and started training only after the lockdown was relaxed. Because I had started training after a long period of rest, there were injuries,” she said.
“So we planned to move to the USA to train in October (last year). We planned to train there for 20 days and that trip helped me train well. Soon after, I broke a world record in the world championship. So the time spent training in USA helped me a lot.”
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