The 26-year-old became only the second Indian woman to grab an Olympic medal in the sport.
Indian weightlifter Mirabai Chanu won the silver medal in the Women’s Weightlifting 49kg category at the Tokyo Olympics. She became the first Indian athlete to win a medal at the Olympic Games this year and the first-ever to win silver in women’s weightlifting for the country.
Chinese weightlifter Hou Zhihui won the gold medal after setting an Olympic record in the ‘Snatch’ category. She finished with an overall 210kgs – an Olympic record – to bag the gold medal for China. Mirabai managed the best lift of 87kgs in the snatch category, before lifting an exceptional 115kgs – which set her personal record – in the ‘Clean & Jerk’ category to finish with an overall tally of 202kgs.
Her heroics in the Clean & Jerk category were only bettered by the gold medal winner, who set an Olympic record in that category as well with a 116kgs lift. Mirabai Chanu tried to best her by attempting a 117kgs lift, but was unable to do so in her final attempt in the Clean & Jerk category.
Aisah Cantika picked up bronze
Indonesia’s Aisah Cantika picked up the bronze medal with an overall of 194kgs. She also set a personal record in the ‘Clean & Jerk’ category, managing the best 110kgs in her final attempt.
On the other hand, Japanese weightlifter and hometown favourite Hiromi Miyake was disqualified in the final tally after failing to execute a lift in the ‘Clean & Jerk’ category. The USA weightlifter Jourdan Delacruz suffered the same fate. She could not execute her attempts in the Clean & Jerk category.
After the event, Mirabai Chanu looked like an emotional figure in the medal ceremony following her exceptional efforts. Chanu is only the second-ever Indian woman to win an Olympic medal in weightlifting, 21 years after Karnam Malleswari won the bronze medal in the 69kgs category at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.