Saikhom Mirabai Chanu won India's first medal in the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday, claiming silver in the women's 49kg weightlifting.
The Manipur star recorded a total lift of 202kg - 87kg in snatch and 115kg in clean and jerk as she finished second behind China's Hou Zihui 210kg (94 & 116) who set an Olympic record in snatch.
Indonesia's Aisah Windy Cantika took the bronze medal with an aggregate of 194kg.
Even as Mirabai stood on her career's first Olympic podium in Tokyo, her family back in Manipur celebrated the fruit of their daughter and sister's lifelong hard work.
Mirabai is one of six siblings and was born on 8 August, 1994, in Nongpok Kakching, a village 44 kms away from Manipur's capital Imphal. Mirabai's innate strength to lift firewood with little hassle at 12 was noticed when she accompanied her brother to collect wood for the house.
Her first breakthrough event was in 2014 when she won a silver medal in 48kg at the Commonwealth Games. She created two new records in the trials at Patiala, getting past her idol, N Kunjarani Devi, by two kilograms.
With her silver in Tokyo, Mirabai's journey has come a full circle specially after the disappointment of 2016 when in Rio she should not record a clean 'clean and jerk' score and was eliminated. Having gone into the event as a medal favourite, Mirabai has spoken often about how she handled her depression after the setback and made a comeback in 2017 to win the World Championship gold.
Going into the Tokyo Olympics, Mirabai was ranked third in the world and had also created a world record in 'clean and jerk' just this April.
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