Mirabai Chanu clinched gold at the Singapore Weightlifting International on February 25 today. The Indian star lifter has also qualified to compete in the 55 kilograms weight category at the upcoming Commonwealth Games 2022, to be held in Birmingham.
The 2022 Commonwealth Games are scheduled to take place from July 28 to August 8. Creating history this year, the game will have more medal events for women than men. The schedule includes opening and closing ceremonies, and sports like marathons, athletics and para-athletics, diving, badminton, basketball, boxing, weightlifting and wrestling, amongst other events.
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Mirabai Chanu Wins Gold
Mirabai Chanu was competing in the 55 kilograms weight category for the first time in Singapore and lifted 191 kilograms to win the gold medal. The second place was taken by Jessica Sewastenko of Australia who lifted 167 kilograms, which was 24 kilograms lesser than that lifted by Chanu.
The third place was taken by Elly Cassandra Englebert of Malaysia, who lifted 165 kilograms. The competition took place at the Tao Payoh Sports Hall on February 25, Friday.
Chanu had previously won silver in the Tokyo Olympics for 49 kilograms weight category. However, she participated in this 55-kg category in Singapore after the Indian Weightlifting Federation requested Chanu to move up in the said weight division. This was so that India had better chances of winning medals at multiple weight categories in the Commonwealth games. However, by the end of the year, she will move back to the 49 kilograms weight category.
Chanu had pulled out of championships in December and this was her first event after her historical win in Olympics. The 27-year-old has also qualified for the Commonwealth Games in the 49 kilogram weight category based on her Commonwealth ranking.
In August last year, after winning India its first medal at the Tokyo Olympics, Chanu urged people to encourage and support girls who wanted to pursue sports. Recounting her own journey, Chanu said that she was just 14, when she started training as a wrestler and had to deal with many problems- a dearth of good facilities being one of them. The athletes said that her parents supported her during her training days and pushed her to follow her dream. Read more on that here.