The 25-year-old athlete won the gold medal at the Weightlifting World Championships in 2017.
The Indian Weightlifting Federation (IWLF) has recommended female weightlifter Mirabai Chanu for the prestigious Arjuna Award. She has already won the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 2018.
Mirabai Chanu had put forth her name for both the Arjuna Award and Khel Ratna Award, the highest sporting honour in India, two years back. However, she only got the Arjuna Award with Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli.
She also won the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian award that year due to her terrific display in the Weightlifting World Championships. A back injury after the gold medal in the 2018 Commonwealth Games affected her performance in the Asian and World Championships next year, as she missed out on a medal in both tournaments.
Mirabai Chanu lifted a total of 199kg, 86kg in snatch and 113kg in clean and jerk, at the Asian Championships and improved her performance in the World Championships by reaching the 200kg mark. She lifted 87kg in snatch and 114kg in clean and jerk.
Other than Mirabai Chanu, the IWLF has also nominated Ragala Venkat Rahul and Punam Yadav for the award. Rahul has won two gold medals at the Commonwealth Championships and one gold medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018. Punam has also won the gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in 2018 and silver at the Commonwealth Senior Weightlifting Championships.
The nominations for the 2020 National Sports Awards including the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and the Arjuna Award were invited by the Sports Ministry on May 5. The ministry has asked the federations to send nominations via an e-mail in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, which has affected many lives all over the world.
Mirabai Chanu comes from Manipur’s capital Imphal and has the potential to win a medal at the biggest stage of them all, the Olympics next year.