The Olympic flame was lit on 23 July’ 2021 in Tokyo, Japan and the competition for medals and glory is fierce and intense. Mirabai Chanu ended India’s 21-year wait for a weightlifting medal at the Olympics by clinching a silver medal in the 49kg category and opened the country’s account on Saturday. The 26-year-old lifted a total of 202kg (87kg+115kg) to better Karnam Malleswari’s bronze in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Who is Mirabai Chanu?
Saikhom Mirabai Chanu was born on 8 August 1994 in Nongpok Kakching, Imphal, Manipur, to a Meitei family. Her family identified her strength from an early age when she was just 12. She could easily carry a huge bundle of firewood home when her elder brother found it hard to even pick it up.
Chanu’s first major breakthrough came at the Glasgow edition of the Commonwealth Games; she won the silver medal in the 48 kg weight category.
Chanu was felicitated by the Chief Minister of Manipur, N. Biren Singh, who presented her with a cash prize of ₹2 million. She received India’s highest civilian sports honour Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna for 2018. In 2018, Chanu was awarded with the Padma Shri by the Government of India. In 2019, she won Gold at Qatar International Cup, after lifting 194kg