Mirabai Chanu

Mirabai Chanu – The Pride of Indian Weightlifting

Saikhom Mirabai Chanu is an Indian weight lifter who hails from Manipur and makes the 1.38 Billion Indian people proud after winning the Silver Medal in the Tokyo Olympics 2020 and becoming only the second Indian weightlifter to bring a medal for India after karnam malleswari who won a bronze in 2000 Olympics. Mirabai competes under the 49kg category and has won many other titles along with the silver in Tokyo Olympics which is her biggest achievement till now.

Mirabai Chanu’s Background

Mirabai Chanu was born on 8 August 1994 in the small village Nongpok kakching , Manipur in Northeast India to a Poor family. Her father was a construction worker in Public Works Department in Imphal and her mother used to run a small tea shop and was amongst the youngest of the six siblings. Mira with her brother used to fetch the firewood bundles for home use. They both collect the firewood and bring back home, this was quite an easy task for Mirabai, and used to Carry it for 2 kilometers on the head while her elder brother found it difficult even to pick it up that strength of Mira was realized by her Parents at the age of 12. As she lived in the village and she has to go to the Imphal city where she was trained which is around 25km from the Village. Even she also used to get the regular lift from the Truck Drivers to Imphal (The Training Centre). This was the beginning of Mirabai Chanu to the Silver Mirabai Chanu and who knows that a Girl bringing the firewood will bring the Olympic medal for India.

Mirabai Chanu- Olympic Silver Medalist

The Medal's Journey

  • The First medal came for Mirabai at the young age of 19 in the 2014 commonwealth games, Glasgow where She won the silver medal in the 48kg Category for India in Weightlifting.
  • The year 2016 was a quite disappointing year for Mira as In the Rio Olympics 2016 she failed to lift the weight in any of the three attempts in the clean and jerk section in 48kg category and she was unable to finish her event with a DNF (Did not finish) along with her name.
  • The Next year 2017, In the World Weightlifting Championship held in California, United States Chanu won gold by lifting a record 194kg (85kg snatch and 109kg in clean and jerk).
  • In the 2018 Commonwealth games held in Australia, Mirabai Chanu won gold under the 48kg category by beating his own best (194kg in world weightlifting championship) where she lifted 196kg (86kg in snatch and 110kg in the clean and jerk section) this was also the first gold medal for India in 2018 commonwealth Games.
  • The Asian Weightlifting Championship 2020 held in Tashkent, Uzbekistan in the year 2021 due to covid pandemic was also quite impressive for Chanu as she won a Bronze medal in the 49kg category by lifting a record 205kg (86kg in snatch and 119kg in clean and jerk ) and qualify for Tokyo 2020 Olympics and become the only Indian Weightlifter to do so.
  • In the 2020 Tokyo Olympics she made history after did not qualify in Rio Olympics 2016 to winning silver in Tokyo Olympics 2020 in the 49kg category and after 21 years India won a medal in Weightlifting.
  • Won gold in Singapore Weightlifting International 2022 in the 55kg category after lifting a 191kg overall (86kg in snatch and 105kg in clean and jerk)

Major Awards

  1. The Highest Sporting honour of India “Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award “ previously known as the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award awarded by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports was awarded to Mirabai Chanu in 2018 for the outstanding performance in weightlifting.
  2. In the same year 2018, she was awarded Padma Shri the 4th highest civilian award of India for her outstanding performance in sports.
  3. Govt of Manipur awarded her Rs1 crore after the silver medal in Tokyo Olympics and was appointed as Additional Superintendent of Police in Manipur.

After winning gold in Singapore Weightlifting International 2022, Mira has been qualified for the 2022 commonwealth games in the 55kg category for the first time previously she competes in the 49kg category and is preparing for the upcoming commonwealth games and the Asiad 2022.

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