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Tokyo Olympics: Mirabai Chanu wins silver, opens India’s medal account on Day 1

Mirabai Chanu lifts 87kg in snatch and then 115kg in the clean and jerk of women's weightlifting in 49kg category.

By: Sports Desk |
Updated: July 24, 2021 5:01:13 pm
Mirabai Chanu Saikhom of India in action. (Source: Reuters)

Mirabai Chanu gave India a perfect start on Day 1 of the Tokyo Olympics as she clinched the country’s first weightlifting silver in the 49kg category. Ending India’s 21-year wait for a weightlifting medal at the Olympics, the 26-year-old on Saturday gave India their first Tokyo Olympics medal.

Mirabai lifted a total of 202kg (87kg+115kg) to better Karnam Malleswari’s bronze in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. This comes as a big achievement for Mirabai, failed to log a single legitimate lift in Rio 2016 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).

The Manipuri took her time and cleanly heaved the barbell, attempting 84kg in her first snatch attempt. She then lifted 87kg in her next attempt and raised the weight to 89kg, which was one 1kg more than her personal best of 88kg that she had lifted at the national championship last year.

However, she was unable to better her personal best and settled for 87kg in the snatch event only behind leader Zhihui, who created a new Olympic record with an effort of 94kg.

In the clean jerk, Chanu, the world record holder in the section, lifted 110kg and 115kg in the first two attempts. However, she was unable to raise 117kg in her final attempt but it was enough to fetch her a medal and open India’s account.

Mirabai broke down in tears after realising she has won an elusive silver in weightlifting. The tears of joy soon turned into celebration as she danced to celebrate the podium finish.

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