Tokyo Olympics: Who is Mirabai Chanu? India’s SILVER medal winner in weightlifting at Tokyo Games- All you need to know

Tokyo Olympics: Who is Mirabai Chanu? India's SILVER medal winner in weightlifting at Tokyo Games- All you need to know
Tokyo Olympics: Who is Mirabai Chanu? India's SILVER medal winner in weightlifting at Tokyo Games- All you need to know

Tokyo Olympics: Who is Mirabai Chanu? India’s SILVER medal winner in weightlifting at Tokyo Games- All you need to know- Mirabai Chanu on Saturday clinched India’s first medal at the Tokyo Olympics as the 26-year-old clinched silver in the Women’s weightlifting 49kg category. Chanu is the second weightlifter after Karnam Malleswari (Bronze, 2000 Sydney Olympics) to win a medal for India at the Olympics. Th2 26-year-old’s win is a new dawn for the sport which has seen a tumultuous fall from grace over the years.

Also Read: Tokyo Olympics: Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu wins SILVER Medal for India, 1st medal in 17 years in weightlifting

Like Mary Kom, Mirabai Chanu comes from a small village in India She hails from Nongpok Kakching of Imphal, Mainpur. Her talents were discovered at age of 12 when would lift loads of firewood that her elder brother found difficult to pick.

List of major titles won by Mirabai Chanu

Tokyo Olympics– SILVER

World Championships 2017- GOLD

Asian Championships 2020– BRONZE

Commonwealth Games

Glasgow- SILVER

Gold Coast- GOLD

Notably, Chanu was awarded Padma Shri- the fourth-highest civilian award- by the Indian government in 2018.

Tokyo Olympics: Who is Mirabai Chanu? India’s SILVER medal winner in weightlifting at Tokyo Games- All you need to know

India at Tokyo Olympics: Mirabai Chanu overcame her Rio heartbreak to clinch India’s first medal at the Olympics. Chanu lifted 84kg and 87kg successfully but failed to lift 89kg as she was placed in the second spot after snatch while China’s Hou Zhihu lifted 94kg to create an Olympic record. The 87kg snatch is her personal best, equaling her tally when she won the gold medal at the World Championships in 2017.

Chanu is the only weightlifter participating in the Tokyo from India, as the sport has seen a massive decline over the years. The International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) had banned the Indian Weightlifting Federation from participating in all international competitions for one year after three female lifters failed in their doping tests. Mirabai, inspired by Kunjarani Devi, the fourth-place finisher at the Athens Olympics, continued her Olympic dream and made it count in Tokyo.

India at Tokyo Olympics: “I am very happy that I have won the medal. The entire country was watching me and they had their expectations, I was a little nervous but I was determined to give my best. In 2016, I did not have a good show but it proved as a learning curve for me and I got to know where I need to improve. I worked really hard for this,” Mirabai Chanu told the reporters at the Mixed Zone after winning the silver medal.

She added, “When I reach India, I will go straight to my home, it has been a long time that I have not been home. It has been 1-2 years that I have not gone home and spent some time with my family. There is no plan as such, but I’ll party today (laughs). “

When asked whether she thought she could go for gold, Chanu said: “I tried my best to win the gold medal, I was not able to win the gold, but I really tried. When I did the second lift, I understood I’ll bring a medal along with me.”

India at Tokyo Olympics: Mirabai Chanu has always had natural strength. Growing up as the daughter of an agricultural worker in a village near Imphal, Chanu was tested, with physical labour on the field. What stood out was at the age of 12, Mirabai could lift huge bundles of kindling wood on her shoulders, which would be far heavier than her adult brother.

Also Read: India at Tokyo Olympics: Indian Hockey team starts on a winning note, Harmanpreet Singh scores double as India beat New Zealand 3-2

Chanu made her breakthrough at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, where lifted the silver in the 48 kg weight category. She qualified for the Rio Olympics, and was expected to finish on the podium, but did not finish the event after failing to lift the weight in any of her three attempts in clean & jerk section. The heartbreak did not deter her as she continued her quest for glory, and lifted the World Championship gold, lifting a competition record 194 kg in total (85 kg snatch and 109 kg clean & jerk) and a gold at the Commonwealth Championships.

India at Tokyo Olympics:  Mirabai Chanu’s progress was halted by a back injury, but she returned a year later to finish just outside of the medals at the Asian Championships and the World Championships in 2019. Earlier this year, Mirabai set a new world record in clean and jerk (119 kg) on her way to bronze, further confirming her place at the Olympics. She fulfilled her promise at the games, which could turn out to be the silver lining for the sport in India.

Tokyo Olympics: Who is Mirabai Chanu? India’s SILVER medal winner in weightlifting at Tokyo Games- All you need to know

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