Saikhom Mirabai Chanu

Saikhom Mirabai Chanu
Born/Date of Birthday: 8 August 1994
Place of Birth: Nongpok Kakching, Imphal East, Manipur, India
Siblings: Saikhom Sanatomba Meitei, Rangita Saikom
Height: 1.50 m (4 ft 11 in)
Weight: 49 kg (108 lb)
Sport Country: India
Sport: Weightlifting
Event(s): 49 kg
Coached by: Vijay Sharma, Aaron Horschig
Medal record
Women's weightlifting
Representing: India
Olympic Games
Silver medal – second place    2020 Tokyo    49 kg

World Championships
Gold medal – first place    2017 Anaheim    48 kg

Asian Championships
Bronze medal – third place    2020 Tashkent    49 kg

Commonwealth Games
Silver medal – second place    2014 Glasgow    48 kg
Gold medal – first place    2018 Gold Coast    48 kg

Commonwealth Championships
Gold medal – first place    2013 Penang    48 kg
Gold medal – first place    2017 Gold Coast    48 kg
Gold medal – first place    2019 Apia    49 kg
Silver medal – second place    2015 Pune    48 kg

Saikhom Mirabai Chanu (born 8 August 1994) is an Indian weightlifter. She won the silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in Women's 49 kg category. Mirabai Chanu has won the World Championships and multiple medals at the Commonwealth Games. She was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India for her contributions to the sport. She was awarded the sporting honour Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna by the Government of India in 2018.

Chanu won the silver medal in the women's 48 kg weight class at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Glasgow; she went on to break the games record en route to the gold medal at the 2018 edition of the event held in Gold Coast. Prior to the 2020 Summer Olympics, her biggest achievement came in 2017, when she won the gold medal at World Weightlifting Championships held in Anaheim, California.

Early life and background
Saikhom Mirabai Chanu was born on 8 August 1994 in Nongpok Kakching about 30 km away from Imphal city, Manipur to a Meitei family. Chanu identified herself as a follower of Sanamahism but she is not an extremist as she stated she needed blessing of all gods including Hindu deities. Her family identified her strength when she was just 12. She could easily carry a huge bundle of firewood home when her elder brother found it hard to even pick it up.

Mirabai trained at the Sports Academy in Manipur. She hitched rides with truck drivers carrying sand. After winning the Olympic medal, she invited the truck drivers to offer her gratitude and touched their feet as a sign of respect.

Career
Chanu's first major breakthrough came at the Glasgow edition of the Commonwealth Games; she won the silver medal in the 48 kg weight category.

2016 Rio Olympic
Chanu qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics in the women's 48 kg category. However, she failed to complete the event, owing to no successful lifts in any of her three attempts in the clean & jerk section.

2017–2021
In 2017, she won the gold medal in the Women's 48 kg category by lifting a competition record 194 kg in total (85 kg snatch and 109 kg clean & jerk) in the 2017 World Weightlifting Championships held at Anaheim, California, United States.

Chanu lifted a total of 196 kg, 86 kg in Snatch and 110 kg in Clean and Jerk to win the first gold medal for India in the 2018 Commonwealth Games. En route to the medal, she broke the games record for her weight category; the effort also marked her personal best performance. She missed out on a bronze medal in 49 kg category at 2019 Asian Weightlifting Championships with a total lift of 199 kg, her personal best, as her Snatch weight was lower than the third place athlete, both of whom had identical totals.

At the 2019 World Weightlifting Championships, Mirabai lifted a total of 201 kg (87 kg Snatch and 114 kg Clean & Jerk) to finish fourth. This personal best total also created a new national record in the 49 kg category. She broke her personal record again four months later when she lifted 203 kg (88 kg in Snatch and 115 kg in Clean & Jerk,) in the 49 kg category to win the gold medal at the 2020 Senior National Weightlifting Championships.

In April 2021, she won the bronze medal at the 2020 Asian Weightlifting Championships in Tashkent where she lifted 86 kg in snatch and then created the world record by lifting 119 kg in the clean and jerk, for a total of 205 kg. In June 2021, Chanu became the only Indian woman weightlifter to qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics by securing second position on the Absolute Rankings for 49 kg category.

2020 Tokyo Olympic
Chanu won the silver medal in 49 kg division at the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo with a total lift of 202 kg, becoming the first Indian weightlifter to win silver at the Olympics, the second Indian weightlifter after Karnam Malleswari to win an Olympic medal, and the second Indian woman after P. V. Sindhu to win an Olympic silver. A new Olympic record was registered by Chanu with a successful lift of 115 kg in clean and jerk. Her win ensured India its first medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

Aftermath of Tokyo Olympic Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh announced an award of ₹1 crore for her. Indian Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announced an award of ₹2 crore, a promotion and more for her.

Awards

The President of India presenting the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award to Chanu at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi.

National
Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna, highest sporting honour of India (2018)
Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India (2018)

Rewards
For winning the silver medal at the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics -

₹1 crore (US$130,000) rupees from BYJU'S
₹50 lakh (US$66,000) from the Government of India.
₹1 crore (US$130,000) from the Government of Manipur, and appointment as Additional Superintendent of Police (Sports) in the Manipur State Police.
₹2 crore (US$270,000) from the Ministry of Railways (India) and promotion in the Northeast Frontier Railway.
₹50 lakh (US$66,000) from the Board of Control for Cricket in India
₹40 lakh (US$53,000) from the Indian Olympic Association.

Other rewards
₹20 lakh (US$27,000) from the Government of Manipur for the gold medal in the 2017 World Weightlifting Championships.
₹10 lakh (US$13,000) from the Government of Manipur for qualifying for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.
₹25 lakh (US$33,000) from the Government of Manipur for participating in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics.

In popular culture
A Shumang Leela based on the life of Mirabai Chanu, titled as Mei Iklaba Thamoi was released on 19 September 2021. It is directed by Shougrakpam Hemanta. A biographical Manipuri feature film on Mirabai Chanu was also announced by Seuti Films. The movie will be directed by OC Meira and screenplay by Manaobi MM.


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Tags:
Categories: Indian female weightlifters, 1994 births, Commonwealth Games silver medallists for India, Sportswomen from Manipur, Weightlifters at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Weightlifters at the 2014 Asian Games, Weightlifters at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Olympic weightlifters of India, Commonwealth Games medallists in weightlifting, People from Imphal, 21st-century Indian women, 21st-century Indian people, World Weightlifting Championships medalists, Weightlifters from Manipur, Recipients of the Padma Shri in sports, Weightlifters at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Commonwealth Games gold medallists for India, Recipients of the Khel Ratna Award, Asian Games competitors for India, South Asian Games medalists in weightlifting, Weightlifters at the 2020 Summer Olympics, Olympic silver medalists for India, People from Manipur, Olympic medalists in weightlifting, Medalists at the 2020 Summer Olympics
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