Olympian weightlifter and former junior world weightlifting championship bronze medallist Saikhom Mirabai Chanu of India became world champion when she won gold medal in women’s 48kg category in World Weightlifting Championships 2017 held in Anaheim, USA. She became the first Indian to win the medal at the ongoing championships. The multi championships winner from Manipur lifted 85kg in snatch and 109kg in clean and jerk for a grand total of 194kg. Sukcharoen Thunya of Thailand won silver medal with a total lift of 193 while Segura Ana Iris bagged the bronze medal with the overall lift of 182kg.
This is the second time that an Indian weightlifter won gold medal in senior world championship. Earlier, Olympic Games bronze medallist Karnam Malleshwari won gold medals in 1994 and 1995 editions.
Mirabai daughter of Saikhom Kriti Meitei and Tombi Leima from Nongpok Kakching Laimaning, Imphal East set a new national record with the winning performance. The Olympian lifter who was believed to win a medal in the Olympic Games failed but won a series of medals in international championships.
Mirabai who is now a Railways employee had to struggle hard in order to establish herself a champion lifter. She had to travel to the training centre at Imphal by requesting the truck driver as she was not able to pay the travel fares. The hard working lifter has fine records in international championships. Earlier, she won gold medal in International Youth Championship 2011, bronze medal in Asian Junior Weightlifting Championship 2012, three bronze medal in World Junior Weightlifting Championship 2013, silver medal in Asian Junior weightlifting 2013, gold medal in Commonwealth Senior Women Weightlifting Championship 2013, silver medal in XX Commonwealth Games 2014, silver medal in Asian Junior Weightlifting Championship 2014, gold medal with best lifter title in Commonwealth Senior Women Weightlifting Championship 2015, gold medal in South Asian Games 2016 and Commonwealth Senior Weightlifting Championships 2017 held in Australia.
In the mean timne, Prime Minister Modi congratulated Mirabai on tweeter. He wrote, “India is proud of Mirabai Chanu, who has won a gold at the World Weightlifting Championship. Congratulations and best wishes for her future endeavours,”.
The President’s Office also tweeted, “Congratulations Mirabai Chanu for winning a gold medal in the World Weightlifting Championship. India is so proud of you. And congratulations Manipur for giving the country such a wonderful series of champion sportswomen!”
Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore wrote, “Saikhom Mirabai Chanu wins #Gold in 2017 IWF Senior Men & Women #weightlifting championships in Anaheim, USA. In the 48 kg weight category, her total lift was 194 kg. That’s 4 times her bodyweight. In sports, and in life, ‘Will’ is everything. Never, EVER give up.”
OIympic Games medallists MC Mary Kom and Vijender Singh also congratulated the lifter Mirabai.