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Ace Indian weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu becomes the second Indian to win an Olympic medal in weightlifting after Karnam Malleswari's historic bronze in 1998 and just the fifth individual to win a silver medal. Chanu is the first Indian to win silver at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the women's 49kg weightlifting event on Saturday, 24 July 2021. What makes it historic is that this is the first time India has won a medal on the opening day of the Olympic Games.
Ranked third in the world, Mirabai had a total lift of 202kg with 87kg in snatch and 115kg in clean and jerk. She had lifted a total of 202kg to finish second to China's Hou Zhihoi who won the gold with an Olympic record of 210 kgs.
Mirabai Chanu was born on 8 August 1994 in Manipur, India. Since 2014, she has been consistently performing in international events in the 48 kg category. Over the years Chanu has won the World Championships and multiple medals at the Commonwealth Games. She was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India.
Sharing her incredible win, on Twitter Mirabai wrote, 'It is really like a dream come true for me. I would like to dedicate this medal to my country and would like to thank the billion prayers of all Indians which were with me during this journey. I like to thank my family especially my mother for a lot of sacrifices and believing in me. Also special thanks to our government for supporting me, Ministry of Sports, SAI, IOA, Weightlifting Federation of India, Railways, OCQ, sponsors and my marketing agency IOS for their continuous support in this journey. I would like to give special thanks to my coach Vijay Sharma sir and support staff for their continuous hard work, motivation and training. Thank you once again entire weightlifting fraternity and all my countrymen. JAI HIND.'