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Friday, September 17, 2021

‘Dream come true…would dedicate this medal to my country’: Mirabai Chanu after winning silver

Chanu lifted a total of 202kg (87kg+115kg) to better Karnam Malleswari’s bronze in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: July 25, 2021 8:26:37 am
Mirabai ChanuTokyo: India's Mirabai Chanu reacts after an attempt in the women's 49 Kg category weightlifting event at the Summer Olympics 2020, in Tokyo, Saturday, July 24, 2021. (PTI Photo/Gurinder Osan)

Mirabai Chanu, who gave India a perfect start at the Tokyo Olympics by winning the country’s first weightlifting silver in the 49kg category on Saturday, said it was a dream come true for her and she would like to dedicate the medal to her country.

“Its 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,” said Chanu in a statement which was shared from her Twitter account.

Thanking the government, Ministry of Sports, SAI, IOA, Weightlifting Federation of India, Railways, OGQ, sponsors and marketing agency IOS for their continuous support, Chanu also expressed her gratitude to her coach and support staff.

“I would like to give special thanks to my coach Vijay Sharma sir and support staff for their continuous hardwork, motivation and training. Thank you once again entire weightlifting fraternity and all my countrymen. JAI HIND,” she further wrote.

Chanu lifted a total of 202kg (87kg+115kg) to better Karnam Malleswari’s bronze in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

China’s Hou Zhihui won the gold medal with an effort of 210kg (94kg+116kg), while Aisah Windy Cantika of Indonesia took home the bronze with an effort of 194kg (84kg+110kg).

Soon after her stupendous achievement, praises for her have started pouring in from all quarters, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, footballer Sunil Chhetri and gymnast Dipa Karmakar being among those who have taken to social media to congratulate her.

“I have just been home for five days in the past five years. Now I will go with this medal,” said Chanu, whse family is based in Nongpok Kakching village about 20 kilometres from Imphal. Chanu revealed that after the Rio Games debacle she changed her training and technique completely so that she could redeem herself in Tokyo.

“My dream of winning an Olympic medal has been fulfilled today. I tried a lot in Rio, put in a lot of effort but it was not my day then. I thought that day only that I will prove myself in Tokyo,” Chanu said during a virtual press conference organised by the Sports Authority of India (SAI).
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Considered a strong medal contender five years ago in Rio as well, Chanu buckled under pressure in the women’s 48kg event and failed to log a legitimate lift. “I learnt a lot from that day — my training and technique was changed, we put in a lot of effort after that,” she added. Head coach Vijay Sharma revealed he was also under a lot of pressure after the disappointing outing in Rio.

“There was a lot of pressure on me after the Rio failure, we failed in a very important competition and we were expected to win then also,” Sharma said. Determined to prove herself in the Tokyo Games, Chanu and Sharma changed the Manipuri’s training, employing a more stringent regimen.

“After that we changed the training technique a lot, we saw the result of that in 2017 in the world championship and the Commonwealth Games. She hasn’t done anything apart from training in the past six years,” Sharma added.

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