Manipuri weightlifter Mirabai Chanu got India its first gold medal in the women’s 48 kg weightlifting event on Day 1 at the 21st Commonwealth Games (CWG) being held at Gold Coast in Australia on Thursday (Apr 5).
She pulled off clean lifts in all her three attempts at 80kg, 84kg and 86kg.
Soon after her feat, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) tweeted: “Congratulations to Saikhom Mirabai Chanu for winning India’s first Gold at the #GC2018 games and breaking three CWG records. India is delighted by these achievements: PM @narendramodi @GC2018.”
Here are some facts you need to know about world champion weightlifter Mirabai Chanu:
1. Saikhom Mirabai Chanu was born Aug 8, 1994 at Nongpok Kakching, Imphal East in Manipur.
2. As she did not have a weightlifting centre in her village during her childhood days, Mirabai Chanu travelled 60 km to her training centre.
3. She started to train in weightlifting in 2007 at Khuman Lampak Sports Complex in Imphal.
4. Mirabai Chanu won the Best Lifter award at the 2013 Junior National Championship in Guwahati.
5. The 23-year-old debuted in the 48 kg category at international events in 2014.
7. Mirabai Chanu won the silver medal in the women’s 48 kg category in weightlifting at the 2014 Commonwealth Games (CWG), Glasgow.
8. She became a world champion in 2017 after bagging the gold medal at World Weightlifting Championships held in Anaheim, United States.
9. At the 2017 World Weightlifting Championships, Mirabai Chanu lifted a record 194 kg in total (85 kg snatch and 109 kg Clean & Jerk).
10. Though Mirabai Chanu qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics, she failed in all her three attempts in Clean & Jerk section.
11. At the 2018 Commonwealth Games (CWG), Mirabai Chanu lifted a total of 196 kg, 86 kg in Snatch and 110 kg in Clean & Jerk. She not only won the first gold medal for India for this year, but also broke the games’ record for the weight category.
12. The Government of India conferred her with the Padma Shri in 2018.
13. Mirabai Chanu is currently employed by the Indian Railways.
14. Veteran weightlifter Kunjarani Devi is her inspiration.
Picture Twitter @GC2018
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.