Weightlifting at Tokyo Olympics 2020: Mirabai Chanu scripts history, bags India’s first medal at the Games

Mirabai lifted a cumulative weight of 203kg to clinch the silver medal in the women's 49kg event to open India's tally.

Mirabai Chanu
Mirabai Chanu

Mirabai Chanu brings home India’s first medal at the Tokyo Olympics. She won the silver medal in women’s 49kg weightlifting. This is India’s first Olympic medal in weightlifting in the last 20 years. This is India’s second medal in the sport with Karnam Maleshwari winning the first one at the Sydney Games 2000.

Hailing from Manipur, Mirabai has gone on to go past her inspiration as she banished the ghosts of the Rio Olympics failure in style. This is the first time India bagged a medal on the opening day of the Games.

Mirabai went for 84kg in her first attempt of snatch and pulled it off with relative ease following a great recovery. The Manipuri weightlifter was able to only 3kgs to her tally in her second attempt as she failed to lift 89kg in her third attempt. She finished second as she went in to clean and jerk, her strong suit where she holds the world record.

Mirabai Chanu enters highest expected total

Mirabai Chanu
Mirabai Chanu

She lifted 115kg in the clean and jerk to secure a second place behind China’s Zhihui who set the Olympic record with a 116kg clean and jerk lift. She also rewrote the Olympic record with a 94 kg lift in the snatch as she bagged the gold medal ahead of Mirabai Chanu. Mirabai, who had a personal best of 205kg, had earlier said that she would be going for 210kg to push for the gold. China’s Zhihui

Going into the event as a strong favorite, Mirabai Chanu entered 210kg as her expected total in the women’s 49kg start list. It was the highest weight on the start list and with it, she made a statement to her closest rivals, including Hou Zhihui of China, Windy Aisha of Indonesia and Elizabeth Delacruz of the USA. The three had registered 205kg, 203kg and 200kg, respectively.

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Anshuman Mahapatra is currently pursuing an engineering degree. Writing and sports are his fortes. He covers cricket as well as badminton, boxing and other Olympic sports. Anshuman is addicted to reading novels and cricket. He is a huge Chennai Super Kings fan.