Mirabai Chanu: India’s newest Olympic superstar

Star weightlifter from Manipur, Mirabai Chanu created history on Saturday as she overcame her Rio heartbreak to become the first Indian weightlifter to win the silver medal at the Olympic Games. Chanu became the first Indian to win an Olympic medal at the 2020 Tokyo Games in the Women’s 49kg category.

The 26-year-old lifted a total of 202 kg to emerge second behind China’s Hou Zhihui, who won the gold at 210 kg.

“It felt like it was a dream. I forgot where I was and the fact that I was standing on the Olympics podium. Everything blurred for a bit. I realised I had won the silver only when they called my name and I felt the medal around my neck!” said Mirabai, the second Indian woman to clinch an Olympic silver after P.V. Sindhu.

She also became the first lifter to win a silver at the Olympics and second to win a medal after Karnam Malleswari’s bronze in Sydney 2000.

A regular presence in international events since 2014 in the 48 kg category, Mirabai Chanu has won the World Championships and multiple medals at the Commonwealth Games. Chanu had won the silver medal in the women’s 48 kg weight class at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Glasgow; she went on to break the games record en route to the gold medal at the 2018 edition of the event held in Gold Coast. Her first biggest achievement came in 2017, when she won the gold medal at World Weightlifting Championships held in Anaheim, California

She was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India for her contributions to the sport. She was awarded Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award by the Government of India in 2018.

Major Achievements

  • Silver Medal at 2020 Tokyo Olympics
  • Silver Medal at Commonwealth Games, Glasgow, 2014.
  • Gold Medal in Women Senior National Weightlifting Championship, 2016.
  • Gold Medal in World Weight Lifting Championship, Anaheim, USA, 2017
  • Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna for 2018
  • Awarded Padma Shree in 2018
  • Gold Medal in Women Sr. National WL Championship, Mangalore, Jan. 2018
  • Gold Medal in Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast Australia, 2018
  • Sets World Record in Clean & Jerk by lifting 119 kgs in the Asian Championship held at Tashkent, in April 2021.