Tokyo Olympics 2020: Was dreaming of this for 5 years, says Mirabai Chanu after historic silver medal
- Mirabai Chanu won a silver medal in women’s weightlifting 49kg
- Mirabai won India’s first silver medal in weightlifting
- She said her silver medal was not just for Manipur but for the whole country
Being the only weightlifter in the Indian contingent in the ongoing Summer Olympics in Japan, Mirabai lifted a total of 202 Kg to grab her country's first-ever silver medal in the sport. The 26-year-old Mirabai competed in the women's 49Kg category, where China's Zhihui Hou bagged gold with a total of 210kg, creating a new Olympic Record while Indonesia's Windy Cantika Aisah grabbed bronze with a total of 194kg.
On being asked what the silver medal meant to her as a Manipuri, Mirabai responded,"I am very happy to win the first medal for India at these Games. I don't just belong to Manipur, I belong to the whole country."
The Imphal-based weightlifter made her Olympics debut in the previous edition in 2016 in Rio. Her maiden Games appearance was far from memorable as she managed only one legal lift in 6 attempts over Snatch and Clean and Jerk to finish empty-handed. After the tournament, she had expressed how confused she was during his debut at the biggest stage. However, none of those nerves were seen in Mirabai on Saturday as she looked so calm and composed who went on to become only the second Indian to win an Olympic medal in weightlifting after Karnam Malleswari. The latter won a bronze medal at the Syndey 2000 Games.
"I am very happy, I have been dreaming of this for the past five years. I am very proud of myself right now. I did try for gold but even silver is a great achievement for me," Chanu told reporters on Saturday after her career-defining triumph for which she had been training in the US for the past few months.
Mirabai, who came into the Tokyo Games as one of India's major medal prospects, began her 49kg event on Saturday on a high as she lifted an 84Kg successfully on her first attempt in the snatch segment. The 26-year-old weightlifter improved with an 87Kg that handed her the advantage in the competition.
However, Mirabai's boost was cut short when eventual gold medalist Hou Zhihui of China hit her strides with an 88kg lift in her first attempt. Hou Zhihui then set a new Olympic record in the snatch at 94kgs in her third lift.
In the clean and jerk round, Mirabai began by lifting 110 kgs, before bettering it with a performance of 115 kgs in the second. Although the Imphal-based weightlifter Mirabai tried to challenge the Olympic champion with an aspiring 117kg in her third attempt but she fell short of the mark in the end.