Mirabai Chanu is an Indian professional weightlifter. She hit the headlines for winning the gold medal at the World Weightlifting Championships in 2017 held in Anaheim, United States. She also delivered a stellar performance in the 2014 and 2018 Commonwealth Games. In recognition of her achievements, she received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and the Padma Shri in 2018.
Mirabai’s family realized her superior strength when they saw her easily lift firewood at 12 while her brother struggled even to pick it up. She took up archery first, but she decided to make her mark in weightlifting since it did not end up well. She began training in 2007 and made a breakthrough five years later when she won three bronze medals at the Asian Junior Championships.
Like the renowned boxer Mary Kom, Chanu also hails from the northeastern state of Manipur.
Chanu is 26 years old. She was born on 8 August 1994 in Nongpok Kakching, Imphal East, Manipur.
She weighs 49 kg. Her height is 4 feet 11 inches (150cms).
Karnam Malleswari won the bronze at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The weight of bringing another Olympic medal now rests on Chanu’s shoulders. After a disappointing show at the 2016 Rio Olympics, she would be determined to succeed this time. She qualified for Tokyo as she is ranked second in the Women’s 49 kg category.
Chanu won the gold medal at the 2017 World Weightlifting Championships. She lifted a competition record 194kg (85 kg snatch and 109 kg clean & jerk). Her personal best is 203 kgs (88kgs in Snatch and 115kg in Clean & Jerk) set at the 2020 Senior National Weightlifting Championships. The 2017 World Champion set a new world record in the clean and jerk when she lifted 119kgs at the 2021 Asian weightlifting championships.
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