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From Rio heartbreak to Tokyo glory: All you need to know about Mirabai Chanu and her journey

With the silver in Tokyo, Mirabai has now won medals in the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, Asian Championships, and World Championships. Here's everything you need to know about the ace Indian weightlifter.

From Rio heartbreak to Tokyo glory: All you need to know about Mirabai Chanu and her journey

Indian weightlifter Mirabai Chanu bagged a historic silver medal in the women's 49kg weightlifting at the Tokyo International Forum to give India its first medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

Mirabai, ranked third in the world, had a total lift of 202kg with 87kg in snatch and 115kg in clean and jerk. Interestingly, this is India's second medal in the sport after Karnam Malleswari's bronze in the 69kg category at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Notably, with the silver in Tokyo, Mirabai has now won medals in the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, Asian Championships, and World Championships.

Here’s all you need to know about India’s ace weightlifter Mirabai Chanu:

Saikhom Mirabai Chanu was born on 8th August 1994. She has been consistently performing in international events since 2014 in the 48 kg category. Chanu has won the World Championships, Asian Championships, multiple medals at the Commonwealth Games and now the Olympic medal as well.

Profile

Name: Mirabai Chanu (Weightlifting)

Date of Birth: August 8, 1994

Age: 26

Birth Place: Imphal, Manipur

Sport/Event(s): Weightlifting (49kg)

Awards

Chanu was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India. She was also awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award by the Government of India in 2018.

Achievements

  • Chanu had won the silver medal in the women’s 48 kg weight class at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Glasgow. Born in Imphal East, Chanu was 19 back then, and that was her first medal in a major international meet.
  • Three years later, she won the gold medal at the World Weightlifting Championships held in Anaheim, United States in 2017.
  • In 2018, Chanu went on to break the games record en route to the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games held in Gold Coast.
  • In 2020, she clinched a bronze medal in Tashkent Asian Championships (49 kg).
  • Chanu’s latest achievement - clinching a silver medal at Tokyo Olympics, is her biggest feat so far.

Notably, Chanu is now the 6th Indian individual Olympic silver medallist (after Norman Pritchard, Rajyvardhan Rathore, Sushil Kumar, Vijay Kumar and PV Sindhu).

The heartbreak in Rio five years back made Mirabai Chanu stronger both mentally and physically. Since that failure of 2016, when she failed to finish the event as she failed to lift the weight in any of her three attempts in the clean & jerk section, Chanu made a strong case for herself with the gold medals in the 2017 World Championship and 2018 Commonwealth Games. And now the Manipuri weightlifter has proved her mettle with a podium finish in Tokyo Olympics.

It is worth mentioning that just two months before the Tokyo Olympics, Chanu managed a 50-day training in the United States under the watchful gaze of Vijay Sharma and assistant coach Sandip Kumar, and all her hard work paid off in the end as she made India proud by clinching the silver medal.

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