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Mirabai Chanu bags silver in weightlifting to secure India’s first medal at Tokyo 2020 Olympics

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Indian weightlifting sensation Mirabai Chanu won silver in the women’s 49kg weightlifting event at Tokyo 2020 Olympics on Saturday. The 26-year-old claimed the Indian contingent’s first Olympic medal in weightlifting in 21 years.

Mirabai Chanu began with two good lifts in the snatch, successfully lifting 84kg and 87kg before failing to lift 89kg. Considering her weakness in snatch events due to a shoulder injury in the past, Mirabai crossed the hurdle with sheer belief to hand India its first-ever medal at Tokyo.

Having failed to lift 89kg, the 26-year-old couldn’t beat her personal record of 88kg in snatch which she set at the 2020 Asian Championships.

In contention for a podium finish, Mirabai began clean and jerk with a successful attempt of 110 kg, before an incredible second lift of 115 kg.

Aiming to push her limits, Mirabai Chanu failed to lift 117kg but still did well enough to win a silver medal at Tokyo 2020.

Although Mirabai finished second to China’s Hou Zhihui, who set Olympic records with 94kg (snatch) and 116 (clean and jerk), the 26-year-old managed to exorcise her ghosts from the past after enduring heartbreak at Rio 2016.

Zhihui lifted a total of 210kg, while Mirabai Chanu and Indonesia’s Aisah Windy Cantika finished with 202kg and 194kg respectively.

Overall, Chanu is just the sixth Indian woman athlete to have won an individual Olympic medal, after Karnam Malleswari (Sydney 2000), Saina Nehwal (London 2012), Mary Kom (London 2012), PV Sindhu (Rio 2016) and Sakshi Malik (Rio 2016).

Featured photo: Twitter / We Are Team India

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