Weightlifter Mirabai, shooters give final touches to Oly preparation

With just a day to go for their departure to Tokyo for the Olympic Games, Indian sportspersons gave final touches to their preparation on Thursday.

While those in India are already in isolation and getting ready for their Covid tests before departure on July 17, those training abroad too are going ahead with their final preparation. The contingent will be allowed into the Olympic Village from July 18.

Sportspersons leaving for Tokyo from India have to undergo three days of quarantine as per special rules decided by the Tokyo Metropolitan government. Indian athletes who are at camps in foreign countries will reach Tokyo directly and therefore do not need any quarantine.

A huge contingent of 70 sportspersons, including the two hockey teams, and officials will depart from New Delhi on July 17 for Tokyo.

Among those who were giving final touches to their preparation are woman weightlifter Mirabai Chanu and shooter Rahi Sarnobat.

Mirabai is training in Kansas City in the USA under renowned strength and conditioning coach Dr Aaron Horschig. She was experiencing some pain in her lower back after the Asian Championships in April and therefore decided to go to the USA for a rehabilitation and training camp.

The Sports Authority of India on Thursday issued some photographs and videos of Chanu’s final training session in the USA. The government has sanctioned Rs. 40 lakh for her two-month training camp in the USA.

Chanu, the only Indian weightlifter to qualify for the Olympics, is one of the favourites for a medal in women’s 49kg as she had set a world record by lifting in 119kg in clean and jerk in the Asian Championship in April. She did 86kg in the snatch for a total of 205kg, which fetched her bronze medal.

“Since Rio, I have evolved a lot. I have worked very hard to be more perfect with my technique, especially in clean and jerk,” Chanu had said during a virtual interaction with the media a few days ago.

In Zagreb, Croatia, the shooters are also having their final training session before they board their flight to Tokyo. As they are already in a bio-bubble and in Croatia for more than a month, they also need to undergo extra quarantine on reaching Tokyo.

Pistol shooter Rahi Sarnobat was one of those who had her final training session in Zagreb on Thursday.

The Indian boxing team will leave for Tokyo from Italy where they are in a camp since last month while javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra will travel to Tokyo from Sweden where he is training.