New Delhi: Commonwealth Games gold medallist lifters Jeremy Lalrinnunga and Achinta Sheuli will clash for the lone 73 kg spot in the Paris Olympics as the former’s 67 kg doesn’t feature in the 2024 Games.
With the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) scrapping 67 kg from the Paris Games, Jeremy, who won the gold in the category at the CWG, will bulk up to compete in the 73 kg weight class.
However, India already has representation in the weight division in Sheuli, who is the national record holder and reigning CWG champion in the 73 kg division.
The two will now go head to head in a bid to seal qualification for the 2024 Olympics as only one lifter per country is allowed in a weight class.
“I will increase my weight to 73 kgs,” Jeremy, who is in the US for a three-and-half week strength and conditioning training camp in St. Louis, told PTI.
“My natural weight is 65 kg. So, it will be difficult to increase my body weight,” he added.
This will not be the first time Jeremy will have to bulk up. The 19-year-old lifter had won the 2018 Youth Olympics gold medal in Buenos Aires in the 62 kg category. He had then moved to 67 kg to comply with the new Olympic weight categories the IWF had introduced then.
However, the Mizoram lifter conceded that he has struggled to gain weight in the last two years.
“My body weight has not been increasing. I am trying to increase it since 2019 to get till 70 kg. My diet plan and supplements will change. Training will also be a bit different. The percentage will change.”
“Asian Games and World Championship have 67 kg but the aim is Paris Olympics,” he added.
Weighing in on the situation, head coach Vijay Sharma said the two lifters will motivate each other to do better.
“It is good that Jeremy and Achinta will be in the same weight category. There should be healthy competition between lifters as otherwise they might take things easy,” Sharma said.
“They both have to work really hard and improve to qualify. Now qualification will be tough as there are only five categories and everyone will be trying to get into these five classes,” he added.
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