India weightlifter Soniya not feeling overawed

The 32-year-old lifter from Manipur is happy that the country is back in action this time and she is hoping for a strong showing.



Diminutive weightlifter Soniya Chanu on Sunday said she is not going to get intimidated at the Olympics. “I know it is a huge sporting extravaganza and only the best sportspersons are here. The competition is bound to be tough,” admitted Soniya, who will be competing in 48kg category.

However, when asked if she would get intimidated by some of the big stars, Soniya shot back, saying: “Why should I get intimidated? I qualified through the Asian Championship held in Korea in April. If I did not get overawed there, where I had to make the cut, why should I be worried here? “God has given me the chance to represent my country. I finished fourth with a career-best [ lift] of 175kg in Korea. The field was very strong but I had confidence in myself."

"I’m a very confident person and will give my best. You must remember that I’m among the 14 lifters from across the world to have qualified for the Games in this weight category, which in itself is a big achievement.”

India did not have representation in this discipline at Beijing after the Monika Devi doping fiasco, and the 32-year-old lifter from Manipur is happy that the country is back in action this time and she is hoping for a strong showing.

“I have been doing well in the training and almost touching 175kg. I hope I will improve by the time my event is held on July 28,” she said.

Soniya’s coach Hansa Sharma expects her ward to give her 100 per cent. “I am not predicting anything but I can say that she will give her best performance. However, if that would be enough for the podium finish I can’t say,” said Hansa.