World Champion weightlifter Mirabai Chanu today pulled out of the Asian Games after failing to recover from a lower back injury, which is yet to be fully diagnosed.
“Yes, Mirabai will not be taking part in the Asian Games,” Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) Secretary Sahdev Yadav told agencies.
The decision comes in the wake of national coach Vijay Sharma recommendation that the Commonwealth gold-medallist must pull out of Jakarta event from August 18 to be fit for the Olympic qualifiers, later this year.
The reigning CWG champion is struggling with an unidentified lower-back problem since May and is yet to begin full-fledged weight training.
When pain subsided last week, Mirabai travelled to Mumbai to get treated and resume weight training.
However, the 23-year-old felt discomfort again, prompting Sharma to recommend to the federation that she pull out to avoid aggravating the injury ahead of the Olympic qualifiers.
“The Olympic qualifiers event is approaching and that is more important than the Asian Games,” Sharma had said.
The Manipuri weightlifter’s absence from the upcoming Asian Games comes as a huge setback for India, as she was considered as one of the strongest contenders for a gold medal in the event.
The World Championship, scheduled to be held in Ashgabat from November 1, will be the first Olympic qualifying event this year.