Paris Olympics: Mirabai Chanu’s weightlifting category to stay, Lalrinnunga’s division set to be axed


Indian weightlifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga will have to change his weight categories in order to participate in the 2024 Paris Olympics with the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) expected to make changes to weightlifting classes for the mega event.

However, the change will not affect India’s Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Mirabai Chanu, who competes in the women’s 49 kg class.

As per IWF, only four weight classes from Tokyo 2020 will be retained, an report said.

The draft will need approval from the IWF’s general council. Once approved, it will be sent to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) for clearance. The final decision is expected by the end of February 2022.

The proposed weight classes for the Paris 2024 Games are 61kg, 73kg, 89kg, 102kg and +102kg for men, and 49kg, 59kg, 71kg, 81kg and +81kg for women.

The ones retained from Tokyo are 49kg and 59kg for women and 61kg and 73kg for men. Also, the super-heavyweight categories for both men and women have been reduced to +102kg from +109kg and +81kg from +87kg, respectively.

Due to the rejig, India’s promising youngster Jeremy Lalrinnunga, who currently competes in the 67kg, will have to shift weight classes after the 2022 Asian Games in September.

Lalrinnunga, a Youth Olympics champion, has the option to either cut down to 61kg or bulk up to compete in the 73kg class. And, India national coach Vijay Sharma has confirmed that the 19-year-old Jeremy will move up to the 73kg division.

The 19-year old Lalrinnunga recently won a gold medal at the Commonwealth weightlifting championships earlier this month and qualified for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

However, this is not the first time Jeremy Lalrinnunga will have to switch divisions. He won the 2018 Youth Olympics gold in the 62kg category but had to bulk up for 67kg as per the revised weight categories.

Weightlifting’s presence at the Olympics has been on the downslide after Rio 2016, where 260 athletes across 15 medal events had participated. The quota was cut down to 196 athletes in 14 medal events at Tokyo 2020.

For Paris 2024, the IOC has allocated a quota of 120 athletes across 10 medal events – the fewest since the 1956 Melbourne Olympics. The Olympic governing body has also excluded weightlifting from the Initial Sports Programme list for the Los Angeles 2028 Games. However, it may be included later.



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