Bagging India’s first weightlifting medal in Olympics after 20 years, Mirabai Chanu won the silver medal in the 49kg category at the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday. More than 20 years ago, in the 2000 Olympics, Karnam Malleswari had won the bronze medal.
Malleswari had won a bronze at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, becoming the first-ever female from India to win a medal at the quadrennial event. 26-years-old Chanu scripted her name, becoming the second Indian woman to win a silver medal at the Olympic Games after P.V. Sindhu in 2016.
Chanu ensured the silver lifting a total of 202 kg – 87 kg in snatch and 115 kg in clean and jerk.
In her first two attempts in the snatch category, Chanu successfully lifted 84 kg and 87 kg but failed in her final, in which she targeted 89 kg.
She lifted 110 kg and 115 kg in the first two attempts in the clean and jerk section. However, she couldn’t lift 117 kg in her final, but she had already assured herself of silver by then.
The Khel Ratna winner, who hails from Manipur, bagged her first international medal came in the Asian junior championships in 2012 when she got a bronze medal. In 2014, she won a silver medal in the women’s 48kg weight category with a lift of 170kg in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. Though she could not perform as expected in the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she had three ‘no lifts’ in clean and jerk, Mirabai came back to take the World title with 194kg in Anaheim, USA, in 2017.
Mirabai further improved her total to set a new National Record of 196kg in Commonwealth Games 2018 winning a gold. Following this, she had lost nearly a year to a lower back injury and came back to improve her national mark by lifting 201kg in the revamped 49kg in the World Championships in Pattaya, Thailand, in 2019. At the National championships in Kolkata in 2020, she again bettered her performance. In the Asian championships in Tashkent this year, she scripted a world record of 119kg in clean and jerk and doing an aggregate of 205kg.