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Tokyo 2020: Mirabai Chanu Wins First Olympic Medal For India, Picks A Silver

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Mirabai Chanu wins silver: Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu picked up a silver medal for India on July 24, at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Chanu lost to China’s Hou Zhihu, who lifted 94 kgs to secure the gold medal. Chanu, on the other hand, lifted 84 and 87 kg weight successfully, however she failed to lift 89 kgs.

With this win, Chanu has become the first Indian to win a medal at the Tokyo Olympics. Chanu is India’s only entry in weightlifting for Tokyo Olympics. This is Chanu’s second Olympics appearance. She also participated in the Rio edition of the Games, where she had not succeeded to secure a podium finish for India.

Speaking to NDTV, journalist Boria Majumdar remembers her tough journey into weightlifting with this anecdote, “she started weighlifting by first lifting wooden logs for burning fire in the house.”

In June this year, Chanu received a one-time incentive worth rupees 10 lakh from the state cabinet of Manipur. The state’s Chief Minister had congratulated the world champion weightlifter for her Tokyo Olympics berth. Read more here.

In April, the weightlifter had revelaed that the defeat at 2016 Rio Games had left her “completely broken. She added that speaking to a psychologist helped her a lot and motivated her to get back to being her normal self. Chanu spoke to a psychologist at the Sports Authority of India who told her that since it was her first Olympics, she felt more pressure of performing at the Games. Read more about Chanu’s mental health struggle here.

Who is Mirabai Chanu?

Hailing from Nongpok Kakching in Imphal, Saikhom Mirabai Chanu won a Gold Medal for India at the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and a Silver Medal in 2014. The Manipuri weightlifter also won a Gold Medal at the 2017 Anaheim World Championship in the 48kg category. She was felicitated with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 2018.