Mirabai Chanu created history winning India’s first medal of the Tokyo Olympics when she clinched silver in women’s 49kg weightlifting event on Saturday. Chanu thus becomes the second ever Indian female weightlifter after Karnam Malleswari to win an Olympic weightlifting medal.
Malleswari had won a bronze at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and thus became the first ever female from India to win a medal at the quadrennial event.
Chanu took the silver lifting a total 202 kg – 87 kg in snatch and 115 kg in clean and jerk. She successfully lifted 84 kg and 87 kg in her first two attempts in snatch category but failed in her final in which she targeted 89 kg.
Similar story followed In the clean and jerk section that saw her lifting 110 kg and 115 kg in the first two attempts. However, in her final, she couldn’t lift 117 kg but by then, she had already assured herself of a silver.
Chanu broke down after realizing she has secured a medal and hugged her coach in jubilation. And later did a little a dance after assuring herself of a silver.
“I am very happy, was dreaming of this for past five years: Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu after winning a silver medal at Olympic Games,” she later said, as quoted by PTI.
Chanu, 26, was already a top medal prospect for India at the Tokyo Games which finally got underway on Friday after a one-year delay due to the coronavirus pandemic. In the lead up to the event, the Indian had put up a series of solid performances having set up a new world record in the clean and jerk section.
Hou Zhihui of China won the gold by lifting a total of 210 kg and setting a new Olympic record. On the other hand, Indonesia’s Windy Cantika Aisah took home the silver medal with a total lift of 194 kg.
Overall, Chanu is the sixth ever Indian female athlete to have won an individual Olympic medal. Before her, Malleswari, Saina Nehwal (Women’s singles badminton bronze, London Olympics 2012), MC Mary Kom (Women’s boxing bronze, London Olympics 2012) PV Sindhu (Women’s singles badminton silver, Rio 2016) and Sakshi Malik (Wrestling bronze, Rio 2016) have achieved the feat.