India ace weightlifter Mirabai Chanu created history as she became the first Indian weightlifter to win silver in the 49-kg weightlifting category on Saturday (July 24) at the Tokyo Olympics. Mirabai, the 26-year-old from Manipur, finished second behind China’s Hou Zihui (210kg — 94 snatch & 116 clean & jerk) with a total of 202kg (87 in snatch and 115 in clean and jerk) to take the second spot on the podium.
With this, Mirabai won India’s first medal in Tokyo and became the second weightlifter from the country to clinch an Olympic medal. Karnam Malleswari bagged bronze in the 69kg category at the 2000 Sydney Games when the weightlifting arena was opened to women for the first time.
Meanwhile, Mirabai’s family and neighbours burst into celebrations as they watched her win the silver medal for the country.
The video shows her family and friends sitting on the floor, all eyes glued to the television set and praying with folded hands, each one of them holding on to their breath in anticipation of Mirabai doing something special. The Manipuri weightlifter didn’t disappoint as she ended India’s 21-year wait for a medal in weightlifting at the Games.
Here’s the video and reactions:
After winning a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics, weightlifter Mirabai Chanu on Saturday said this is a dream come true and also thanked the entire country for praying for her victory.
“It’s really 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,” said Chanu in a statement posted on her Twitter account.
“Also special thanks to our government for supporting me, Ministry of Sports, SAI, I0A, Weightlifting Federation of India, Railways, OGQ, sponsors, and my marketing agency IOS for their continuous support in this journey,” she added.