Mirabai Chanu made history by becoming India's first Silver medalist in weightlifting in the Olympics. Chanu won the silver medal in the 49kg weight category.
During the 49 Kg category final, the 26-year-old Chanu lifted 87 kg in snatch and 115 kg in the Clean and Jerk event to achieve a total of 202, making Indian history.
Chanu has also opened India's medal account at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with the silver medal.
China's Hou Zhihui took home the gold medal, while Indonesia won the bronze.
Let's take a look at some lesser-known facts about the ace weightlifter.
- Saikhom Mirabai Chanu was born in Imphal, Manipur, and her family recognised her physical strength at a very young age.
- At the age of 12, she would frequently carry large bundles of firewood, more than her older brother could. Chanu was a sports fanatic who would have chosen archery over weightlifting if fate hadn't intervened.
- After deciding to pursue weightlifting, Chanu stumbled upon the story of Kunjarani Devi, one of India's most famous weightlifters. Chanu related about her story of making it big from a little village. Later in her career, Chanu would train under Kunjarani Devi.
- Chanu's popularity grew, and she qualified for the Rio 2016 Olympics in the women's 48kg category. Her first Olympics, however, was a failure. She was unable to complete the event because she couldn't lift the weight in any of her three clean and jerk attempts.
- After a disappointing performance in Rio, Chanu won gold in the 2017 World Championships, lifting 194 kg - 85 kg in snatch and 109 kg in clean and jerk. This was a huge accomplishment because it was the first time an Indian athlete had won gold at the World Championships in 22 years since Karnam Malleswari in 1995.
- She then went on to win a gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, lifting 196 kg - 86 kg in snatch and 110 kg in clean and jerk.
- After recuperating from a lower back injury, Chanu won the EGAT Cup in Thailand in 2019 by lifting a total of 192 kg - 82 kg in snatch and 110 kg in clean and jerk.
- She achieved a new national record in the 49 kg category by lifting 203 kg in Kolkata last year. She lifted 88 kg in the snatch and 115 kg in the clean and jerk.