Tokyo Olympics: ‘I don't just belong to Manipur, I belong to the whole country’, says Mirabai Chanu
Indian weightlifter SaikhomMirabai Chanu clinched the 49kg category silver medal on Saturday to script history. She became the first Indian weightlifter to get a sliver in the Olympics. Her victory in Tokyo ensured that India was second on the medals tally, for now, a feat that has never been achieved before by the country.
Chanu lifted a total of 202kg - 87kg in Snatch and 115kg in Clean and Jerk – to grab the medal. She bettered Karnam Malleswari’s bronze in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
“I am very happy, I have been dreaming of this for the past five years. I am very proud of myself right now. I did try for gold but even silver is a great achievement for me,” Chanu told reporters after her career-defining triumph for which she had been training in the US for the past few months.
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The 2016 experience, where she had failed to log a single legitimate lift, was a watershed in her career and Chanu had spoken about how confused she had felt during her debut at the biggest stage. However, there was none of those nerves to be seen on Saturday, just a very composed and focussed athlete who knew she was destined for the podium.
“I am very happy to win the first medal for India at these Games. I don't just belong to Manipur, I belong to the whole country,” she added in response to a query on what it meant for her as a Manipuri.
The gold went to China's Hou Zhihui with an effort of 210kg (94kg 116kg), who created Olympic records in all three categories (snatch, clean and jerk and Total).
Aisah Windy Cantika of Indonesia took home the bronze with an effort of 194kg (84kg 110kg).
An Olympic medal was long overdue for the Indian, who has proved her mettle as a fighter in the international arena time and again.
Her cabinet includes a coveted world championship gold medal, two Commonwealth Games medals -- silver in 2014 and gold in 2018 -- and an Asian Championship bronze.
(With PTI Inputs)