The 2021 World Weightlifting Championships will be held in Tashkent, the capital city of Uzbekistan for 10 days from 7th to 17th December. This will be the 86th edition for men and the 29th for women. The first competition of the World Weightlifting Championships which was only for men weightlifters was held in 1891 in London, United Kingdom. The first women’s competition was held in 1987 in Daytona Beach, United States. Since 1991 both men and women participate in the combined World Weightlifting Championships. The weightlifting tournaments held during Summer Olympics are counted as World Weightlifting Championships of the corresponding year.
India has won 16 medals including 3 golds in World Weightlifting Championships, interestingly, all of them have been won by women weightlifters. The most successful Indian weightlifter in World Championships has been Sydney 2000 Olympics bronze medalist Karnam Malleshwari who became World Champion twice in 1994 and 1995. She also got two bronze medals in 1993 and 1996. Another Indian weightlifting legend Kunjarani Devi won 7 silvers between 1989 to 1997. Tokyo 2020 Olympics silver medalist Mirabai Chanu also came into the limelight by becoming World champion in 2017, 22 years after Karnam Malleshwari. Other Indian World Championships medalists include Lalita Polley, Neelam Setti Laxmi and Bharti Singh.
The Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) conducted trials at NIS Patiala in the month of October to select the team for the World Championships
Men’s Team: Sanket Mahadev Sargar (55kg), Gururaja (61kg), Jeremy Lalrinunga (67kg), Achinta Sheuli (73kg), Ajay Singh (81kg), Vikas Thakur and Jagdish (96kg), Lavpreet (109kg), Gurdeep Singh (109+kg).
Women’s Team: Jhilli Dalabehera (49kg), Bindiyarani Devi (55kg), Popi Hajarika (59kg), Komal Khan (64kg), Harjinder Kaur and Lalchhanhimi (71kg), Poonam Yadav and Aarockiya Alish (76kg), Anuradha Pavunraj (87kg), Poornima Pandey (87+ kg).
Mirabai Chanu was included in the squad initially but she opted out of World Championships a few days before the event, According to a report in Times of India the reason was Mirabai Chanu failed to master a new snatch technique in time for the event. She has been working on honing the new skill with national chief coach Vijay Sharma at the NIS Patiala since August. Mirabai Chanu currently holds the World Record for clean and jerk (119kg) in the women’s 49kg category. If she can improve on her snatch (Personal Best 86kg), she can claim gold in the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games next year.
Players to watch out for:
Jhilli Dalabehera: Asian Championship 2020 gold medallist Jhilli, who earlier competed in the 45kg category, will represent India in Chanu’s category at the event. She will try to improve on her Personal Best of 174kg
Sanket Mahadev Sargar: Khelo India Youth Games 2020 and Khelo India University Games 2020 Champion and National Record (Snatch 108kg, Clean& Jerk 139kg and Total 244kg) holder in 55kg will debut at World Championships. He is India’s best medal prospect in this edition.
Jeremy Lalrinunga: Youth Olympics 2018 gold medalist Jeremy, who finished 4th in Junior World Championships in may this year will aim to improve on his Personal best of 306kg
Schedule: (All start times in Indian Standard Time)
7 Dec: 14:30 (M 55B & M 55A)