NEW DELHI — Chinese weightlifter Zhihui Hou who bagged gold at the Tokyo Olympics on July 24, will be tested by anti-doping authorities, and India’s Mirabai Chanu will be awarded gold if Hou fails the test.

“She has been asked to stay in Tokyo and the test will be done. The test is definitely happening,” a media report citing sources said.

China’s Zhihui Hou bagged gold on July 24 with a total of 210 kilograms (462.971 pounds) and created a new Olympic Record. Mirabai Chanu opened India’s medals tally as she bagged a silver in the Women’s 49 kilograms (108.027 pounds) category at Tokyo International Forum, while Indonesia’s Windy Cantika Aisah grabbed bronze with a total of 194 kilograms (427.697 pounds).

Chanu lifted a total of 202 kilograms (445.334 pounds) — 87 kilograms (191.802 pounds) in snatch and 115 kilograms (253.532 pounds) in clean and jerk during her four successful attempts across the competition.

The Olympics rules say that, if an athlete fails the doping test, then the athlete who has won silver, will be awarded the gold.

Chanu went to the United States prior to the Olympics to train.

“The decision to go to the U.S. had a big role in me winning a medal at the Olympics,” said Chanu.

“There was a time when all flights were shutting down to the U.S. because of the pandemic. But Sports Authority of India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi helped us get the ticket, and I was able to reach there. I was able to train in the U.S. I got all the desired support. I want to thank everyone for their support. The Target Olympic Podium Scheme helped me to train to the best of my ability, and I had all the best facilities.”

Chanu on July 26 returned to India after her win at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics. The silver medalist underwent a mandatory reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test for Covid-19 at the Delhi airport.

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“You do get tensed, there are doubts that can come in. I tried to forget it, I just thought that it [menstrual cycle] can happen to anyone. I just looked past it,” Chanu said.

“It was quite challenging. It was our dream to win an Olympic medal. We started our preparation in 2016, I missed out on a medal in Rio Olympics, and I changed the training pattern after Rio Olympics. We (Chanu and her coach Vijay Sharma) have dedicated the last 5 years to Tokyo Olympics and sacrificed everything for my goal. We did a lot of hard work, and we made a lot of sacrifices, and this is why we have been able to achieve this feat.”

With the silver medal, Chanu had become the second Indian weightlifter to win an Olympic medal after Karnam Malleswari bagged bronze in the 69 kilograms (152.119 pounds) category at the 2000 Sydney Olympics when the weightlifting arena was opened to women for the first time.

“We did a lot of work in the snatch, I was confident in that part of the event. We did a lot of training. China is strong in that department, but I was able to challenge my opponents. The experience was very nice, the dream has been fulfilled, the hard work that I did for the last five years has paid off,” Chanu said.

(With inputs from ANI)

Edited by Amrita Das and Praveen Pramod Tewari



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