Ching Juan Neina, a bright-eyed 15-year-old, tapes her wrists and dips her hands into a bowl of chalk. She stands over a barbell stacked with a pair of green 10 kg plates, reaches down, and grips the bar, readying her body for a snatch, one of the two moves central to competitive weightlifting. After a brief pause, she gets into position — chest up, feet directly below hips, back flat, knees bent, core tight and arms straight — and slowly pulls the barbell past her knees. In a single, explosive movement, she drives it past her chest and head, and drops, as weightlifting parlance has it, ass-to-grass. She holds the position for a split second and then releases the barbell. It bounces on the platform, almost sliding off the scuffed wood. Anita Chanu, wearing a bright yellow jacket with the word 'Coach' emblazoned across its back, rolls back the barbell. She walks briskly around the Regular Coaching Centre at the Khuman Lampak Stadium in Imphal, Manipur's capital, past rusty racks, stacks of bright plates, fraying rubber mats, past grimy, cobweb-tinselled windows, stopping intermittently to correct, reprimand or praise. "Your knees are in the wrong position." "Faster, faster…" "Try again." "That… Read full this story
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