In a very proud moment for India and the north eastern region in particular, Imphal’s Mirabai Chanu brings laurels to the country by bagging India’s first gold in the 48 Kg weightlifting category in the ongoing Common Wealth Games at Gold Coast, Australia.

Saikhom Mirabai Chanu is a 23 year old high spirited sportswoman who hails from the state of Manipur. The weightlifting world champion emerged triumphant in the 48 kg weightlifting division on Thursday at the Common Wealth Games which is currently underway at Gold Coast, Australia. Chanu broke six records in six lifts to finish first in the women’s 48 kg with a combined effort of 196 kg to smash her previous career best of 194 kg.

Chanu began with a CWG record lift of 81 kg and then improved that to 84 kg and finally 86 kg in snatch, which surpassed her personal best of 85 kg that had been recorded during last year’s World Championships. With this she was 10 kg ahead of her next competitor and also advanced towards first place in the clean and jerk category. In this category, where at 103 her entry weight was considerably higher than others, Saikhom recorded lifts of 103, 107 and 110 to clear the competition by a vast margin.

Saikhom is not new to international victories. Her maiden international victory came at the 2014 Common Wealth Games, when she finished behind her team-mate Sanjita Chanu to take home a silver medal. This was followed by gold at the 2016 South Asian Games and the 2017 Commonwealth Championship. She also received the Padma Shri this year.

Saikhom is often referred to as the successor of Karnam Malleswari, the first Indian woman weightlifter in the history of Indian Olympics to win a medal. Malleswari extended her warm wishes to Chanu on her grand victory and stated that the young weightlifter was going for the gold from her very first lift.

Manipur has given India several outstanding sports personalities and Mirabai’s victory at the CWG 2018 only goes to prove the fact that India has become a force to reckon with in every field.


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