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Who is Mirabai Chanu: The First Indian medalist at Tokyo 2020?

Mirabai Chanu
Mirabai Chanu at Tokyo 2020.

Manipur’s Mirabai Chanu brought India its first medal in the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Weightlifter Chanu won the silver medal in the women’s 49 kg category.

A regular presence in international events since 2014 in the 48 kg category, the 26-year-old has emerged as the best weightlifting talent in India in almost two decades.

Mirabai’s international breakthrough came at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014, the then 19-year-old lifted a total of 170 to finish with a silver medal.

In her first major event after the disappointment of Rio 2016, Mirabai Chanu bounced back to clinch the gold medal at the 2017 World Championships in Anaheim. She became the first Indian weightlifter to achieve it in over two decades.

In the 2018 Commonwealth games, the Indian smashed Commonwealth Games records and lifted a total of 26kg more than the second-best to win gold.

During the 2021 Asian weightlifting championships in Tashkent in April, Mirabai Chanu set a new world record in the women’s 49kg clean and jerk with a lift of 119kgs. She, however, had to settle for a bronze medal in the Asian meet due to subpar performance in the snatch.

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

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Written by Shauvik Sarmah

Shauvik Sarmah is working as a journalist for Headline8. An engineering graduate with a deep inclination towards journalism, his area of interest includes politics, current affairs and sports. He can be reached at:


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