Champion weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu has requested for a foreign strength and conditioning (S&C) coach. This will help her with better injury management. The former world champion made her request to the Sports Authority of India (SAI) under the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) scheme.
The Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) forwarded her request to SAI recently. Last year, the 25-year old athlete made a comeback from a lower back injury. Mirabai has said that in weightlifting the chances of injury is on a higher side. With respect to this, she went ahead to request the authorities to provide a foreign S&C coach. She also said that the requested was made before the COVID-19 induced lockdown was called.
Why does Saikhom Mirabai Chanu need a foreign S&C coach?
At the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, Saikhom Mirabai Chanu brought home a gold medal by lifting a total of 196 kg (86 kg in Snatch and 110 kg in Clean and Jerk). It was also during this event that she suffered a lower injury which kept her out for nine months from active competition. She went on to miss the 2018 Asian Games and World Championships as doctors across the country could not diagnose the cause.
The importance of strength and conditioning (S&C) coach
In the sport of weightlifting, the athlete uses coercion to lift weights and this can sometimes lead to an injury if the muscles are not trained properly. An S&C coach is needed to keep the muscles stronger and fitter. By means of using prescriptive exercises, an S&C coach improves an athlete’s performance. Further, during the time of injury, the coach helps tremendously in the recovery process.
According to National coach Vijay Sharma, a world-class S&C coach is important to leverage world-class performance from weightlifting athletes. Strengthening, recovery and rehabilitation form the core of strength and conditioning.
What the Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) has to say?
The General Secretary of the IWLF, Secretary Yadav has said that the hiring process got delayed due to the lockdown. He also said that the request has been forwarded to SAI and soon an advertisement will be published on the website for the same. The eligible candidates will be interviewed and then they can take a call.
Saikhom Mirabai Chanu is currently ranked third in the world in the 49kg category. She is certainly a medal contender for the Tokyo Olympics. An elite athlete like Mirabai needs world-class coaches and professional experts.