Mirabai Chanu's parents in tears after daughter wins silver in Tokyo Olympics

Published on Jul 24, 2021 05:36 PM IST

Tokyo Olympics: "I was in tears seeing it and also during the moment she won the medal. Her father (Saikhom Kriti Meitei) was also in tears. Tears of joy,” said Mirabai Chanu's mother.

Mirabai Chanu in Tokyo on Saturday. Chanu has won India’s first-ever silver in Olympic weightlifting, and marked the first time India scored a medal on Day 1 of an Olympics.(AFP)
Mirabai Chanu in Tokyo on Saturday. Chanu has won India’s first-ever silver in Olympic weightlifting, and marked the first time India scored a medal on Day 1 of an Olympics.(AFP)

Mirabai Chanu’s mother Saikhom Ongbi Tombi Leima and father Saikhom Kriti Meitei could not hold back their tears seeing their daughter give India their first medal in the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday. Mirabai won a silver medal – her first in the Games – in the weightlifting women's 49kg category.

"I was in tears seeing it and also during the moment she won the medal. Her father (Saikhom Kriti Meitei) was also in tears. Tears of joy,” Leima told PTI. “All her hard work has led to the success." She added.

Mirabai ended India's 21-year wait for a weightlifting medal at the Olympics. The 26-year-old from Manipur lifted a total of 202kg (87kg+115kg) to better Karnam Malleswari's bronze in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

With this, she exorcised the ghosts of the 2016 Games where she had failed to log a single legitimate lift.

The Chanu household at Nongpok Kakching village, around 25km from state capital Imphal, visitors had been trickling in since Friday despite the curfew caused in part by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Also Read | Mirabai Chanu: Journey from 'Did Not Finish' in Rio to silver medal in Tokyo

Chanu has six siblings, three sisters and two brothers.

"She had told us she will win gold or at least a medal. So, everybody was waiting for it to happen. Many of our relatives who lived far came last evening. They stayed overnight with us," Chanu's mother said. "Many came this morning and the people of the locality also thronged. So, we have brought out the television to the verandah and around 50 people were there to watch Mirabai in Tokyo. Many sat at the front courtyard. So, it was a kind of festival.

"A lot of journalists have also come. This is something we have never experienced." Chanu was on video call from the weightlifting arena in Tokyo before her event began and she had sought blessings from her parents.

"She (Chanu) rarely comes home (because of training) and so we have made a whastapp group to communicate with each other," said Chanu's cousin Aroshini. "This morning, she had a video call with all of us and she bowed down and sought blessings from her parents.

"She said 'bless me to win a gold medal for the country'. They gave their blessings. It was a touching moment."

(With PTI inputs)

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