Tokyo:Mirabai Chanu clinched silver medal in the women's 49 kg weightlifting category to open India's account at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, here on Saturday.
The 26-year-old lifted a total of 202kg (87kg+115kg) to win the medal. She becomes only the second weightlifter after Karnam Malleswari in 2000 Sydney Olympics to win a medal.
With this, the Manipur athlete exorcised the ghosts of the 2016 Rio Olympics where she had failed to lift weight in any of her three attempts in clean & jerk.
The gold in the event went to China's Hou Zhihui with an effort of 210kg (94kg+116kg) , while Aisah Windy Cantika of Indonesia bagged the bronze with an effort of 194kg (84kg+110kg).
At the Tokyo International Forum, Mirabai began with a 84kg lift in her first attempt in the snatch segment. Later, the Indian ace improved with an 87kg lift that put her in an advantageous position.
However, her momentum was cut short once Hou Zhihui hit her strides with a 88kg lift in her first attempt. Zhihui then set a new Olympic record in snatch at 94kgs in her third lift.
In the clean and jerk round, Mirabai Chanu began with an effort of 110 kgs, before bettering it with a performance of 115 kgs in the second. Though, Mirabai tried to challenge the Olympic champion with an ambitious 117kgs in her third attempt, Mirabai Chanu fell short of the mark.
Manipur celebrates as Mirabai opens India’s account in Tokyo Olympics
People of Manipur celebrated the spectacular performance of Saikhom Mirabai Chanu in the Tokyo Olympics.
As she won the silver medal, sounds of celebrations could be heard in many parts of the state despite total curfew being imposed in the state due to the Covid pandemic.Her parents, family members were all glued to the television set at their home at Nongpok Kakching here and they all jumped in ecstasy as she won the silver medal.
Chief Minister N Biren Singh said in a social network platform , “What a day! What a win for India. Mirabai Chanu wins Silver in Weightlifting Women's 49kg category. India has opened its medal tally in Tokyo Olympics. You have made the country proud today. Bravo”
Dr Th Radheshyam, President , Manipur Olympics Association said, ''Today is a great day for all of us Indians as Mirabai Chanu got the silver in 49 category weight lifting in Tokyo Olympics. He hoped other athletes will also be successful in bringing laurel for the country''.
Chanu in 2014 Commonwealth Games won the silver medal in the 48 kg weight category, took part in the 2016 Rio Olympics. In 2017, she won the Gold medal in the Women's 48 kg category in the 2017 World Weightlifting Championships held at Anaheim, CA, United States.
She gave India a medal in weightlifting after Malleswari won a bronze in 2000 Olympics. Chanu lifted 84kg and 87kg. China's Zhihu won the gold.Congress congratulated Saikhom Mirabai Chanu on bagging the Olympics Silver Medal for India.
AICC in-charge of Manipur & former Union Sports Minister Bhakta Charan Das, who is also in Imphal, congratulated Mirabai Chanu on winning the Olympics medal for the nation. He, at Congress Bhavan in Imphal, expressed the pride of being in Imphal when India gets its first medal in Tokyo Olympics. He shared the congratulatory message of Congress president Sonia Gandhi for Mirabai Chanu.
Expressing happiness, Bhakta Charan Das, who was also the Sports Union Minister of India, stated that the nation is proud of the daughter of the soil of Manipur.
Congress MLA & Vice -President (Media) K. Meghachandra, former Minister Kh. Ratan and other Congress leaders were present in the sharing of the congratulatory message of the party to the people of Manipur and India on Mirabai Chanu's winning of the 1st Olympics Medal for India in Tokyo Olympics.(UNI)