Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu clinched gold for India, defending her title in the Commonwealth Games with a hotly contested victory in Birmingham. This takes the nation’s medal tally in the 2022 edition to three, with Sanket Sargar winning silver in the men’s 55kg weightlifting category and Gururaja Poojary getting bronze in the men’s 61kg category.
The female athlete participated in the 49kg category and lifted 88kg in the Snatch category. She attempted to lift 90kg, and break her own record as promised back in June, but didn’t manage the feat. Chanu went on to lift 113kg in the Clean and Grab, taking her total lift to 201kg.
Chanu previously won silver in the women’s 49kg category at the Tokyo
Olympics initiating India’s medal run. China’s Zhihu Hou took gold. Chanu set a
new Olympic record by completing a successful lift of 115kg in clean and jerk.
Chanu’s silver ended India’s 21-year-long wait for a weightlifting medal at
The 26-year-old from Manipur
lifted a total of 202kg (87kg+115kg) to better Karnam Malleswari’s bronze in
the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
The 84kg lift was considered Chanu’s weakness in the run up to the marquee
event. But Chanu kept her composure, took her time and cleanly heaved the barbell.
She 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.
Saikhom Mirabai Chanu sprung to international prominence at the age of 20
when she bagged the silver medal in the 48kg category at the 2014 Commonwealth
Games in Scotland.
Then, at the national trials for the Rio Olympics 2016, Chanu broke a
12-year national record then held by seven-time World Championships medallist
Kunjarani Devi to book her place in the Indian team for the games.