The rise of Manipur in Indian Sports has been phenomenal. From weightlifting, boxing to football, the North-Eastern state has provided one of the finest sporting talents to the nation over several years. The terrific supply-line of Manipur sports has also won them two Olympic medals. Let us have a look at the five times when Manipur made India proud in sports.
Before the eminence of Chanu and Kom in the international stage, Kunjarani Devi led the state of Manipur in sporting glory. She has won 7 silver medals in various World Championships over the years and shared the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award with Leander Paes.
Sarita Devi was of India's finest boxers in the recent past. Devi was crowned the 2006 World Champions Gold medallist. She also bagged the Bronze medal titles in the 2005 and 2008 World Championships.
Devi is also known for her Asian Games Bronze medal in 2014 which was marred by controversy as she denied receiving the medal after allegations that the judges were partial and did not reward her the points after she knocked her opponent out in the third round.
Nick-named as the Durga of Indian football, Bembem Devi is arguably the greatest women footballer of India. Devi is a central midfielder and has won the Padma Shri for her footballing laurels.
She won the SAFF Women's Championship thrice and also was the two-time gold recipient of the South Asian Games with India. Devi last played for Manipur Police in the Indian Women's League back in 2019.
Saikhom Mirabai Chanu became the second medallist in weightlifting and only the second Indian woman to win an Olympic silver. Chanu lifted her way to second place in the women's 49kg to win India's first medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
Chanu broke the world record in women's 49 kg weightlifting as she lifted an astounding 119kg in clean and jerk in the 2020 Asian Championships making her one of the greatest weightlifters in history.
Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom is an obvious choice as the greatest moment of Manipur Sport. Kom became the first-ever athlete from the state of Manipur to win an Olympic medal as she clinched bronze in the flyweight category at the London 2012 Olympic games.
The Padma Vibhushan has also clinched six World Championships and five Asian championships. She also won her first and only Commonwealth Games gold medal in 2018 at Gold Coast, Australia. Kom is a mother of four and is still going strong in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.