New Delhi [India], July 26 (ANI): India's Olympic silver medallist Mirabai Chanu's decision to head to the US to train helped the weightlifter perform well at the ongoing Tokyo Games, according to her coach Vijay Sharma.
Chanu who returned to India to a warm reception on Monday at the Delhi Airport after her superb silver-medal winning performance in the Women's 49kg category at the Olympics, which opened the country's medals tally on Saturday.
"We started training after the first lockdown. We requested TOPS in October that we wanted to go and within one week, TOPS cleared our travel and sanctioned Rs 60 lakh for training," Sharma, who accompanied Chanu to the Olympics told ANI on their return.
Target Olympic Podium Scheme, is a flagship program of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports which provides assistance to India's top athletes.
"That training in the US resulted in Chanu's world record in Asian Championships and as a result, she qualified for Tokyo Olympics. In May also, our tour was sanctioned and we went to the US for training. In the US, we trained without taking any tension.
"The second benefit was the doctor support that we got in the US during the training phase. If TOPS wouldn't have sent us to the US in a day, maybe we wouldn't have performed that well," Coach Sharma added.
Indian Weightlifting Federation's (IWLF) secretary-general Sahdev Yadav also said that training in the US ahead of the Games helped Chanu to be in the groove.
"If we had missed the chance to travel to the US our chances of winning the medal would have been bleak. Chanu was suffering from injury and had pain in shoulders and the doctor helped and it finally paid off," said Sahdev
"When she was being treated in Patiala, I discussed in TOPS, and then everyone gave a nod to send Chanu to the US," Sahdev said. The IWLF secretary-general said that Chanu had bagged the bronze at the Asian Championship in Tashkent, Uzbekistan in April this year.
"Sports Authority of India's support has always helped us as no federation alone can do things. SAI kept track of the things and everyone worked hard," he added.
Chanu lifted a total of 202 kg (87kg in snatch and 115kg in clean and jerk) during her four successful attempts across the Olympics. (ANI)