Mirabai Chanu wins India’s first medal at Tokyo Olympics

India’s Saikhom Mirabai Chanu created history on July 24 as she won the country’s first medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

Manipur girl, Mirabai Chanu, India’s lone entry at the weightlifting event in the Tokyo Olympics, won the silver medal for her country. She lifted 87 kg in the Snatch and 115 kg in Clean & Jerk.

China’s Hou Zhihui won the gold medal.

In her Snatch attempts, Mirabai Chanu lifted weights of 84 kg and 87 kg in her first two attempts before failing to lift 89 kg in her third attempt.

China’s Hou Zhihui created an Olympic record in Snatch as she lifted highest of 94 kg in her third attempt. She earlier lifted 88 kg and 92 kg in her first two Snatch attempts.

Saikhom Mirabai Chanu: A superstar

Saikhom Mirabai Chanu was India’s lone entry in the weightlifting event at the Tokyo Olympics.

At the Rio Olympics in 2016, Mirabai failed in her first snatch attempt of 82kg. On her second attempt, she was able to lift 82kg before failing in the third attempt at 84kg. The horror show continued in clean and jerk where Mirabai failed in all three attempts.

Born on August 8, 1994, in Nongpok Kakching, a village 44 kms away from Manipur’s capital Imphal, Mirabai’s innate strength to lift firewood with little hassle at 12 was noticed. At just 12, Mirabai Chanu could lift heavy logs of wood which her elder brother couldn’t – thereby making onlookers believe she could pursue weightlifting.

Her first breakthrough event arrived in 2014 with a silver medal in 48kg at the Commonwealth Games. She created two new records in the trials at Patiala, getting past her idol, N Kunjarani Devi, by two kilograms.

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