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Behind an Olympic Medal: Karnam Malleswari's bronze at 2000 Sydney

Sydney Olympics holds a special memory for Indian weightlifting where Karnam Malleswari became the first Indian woman to win an Olympic medal.

Behind an Olympic Medal: Karnam Malleswaris bronze at 2000 Sydney

Abishek Sadanandam

Published: 11 Jun 2021 11:22 AM GMT

The postponed 2020 Tokyo Olympics is now less than 50 days away. Even though the fate of the Olympics hangs in balance right now, athletes from across the globe are sweating it out in their respective sessions to be in the best shape possible ahead of the quadrennial event. As the Olympics near with each passing day, we bring to you a new series of articles, 'Behind an Olympic medal', wherein we will take you through the struggles that went behind Olympic medals won by India.

For the fourth article of this series, we take you through lifter Karnam Malleswari's bronze medal finish at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Men's weightlifting was part of Olympics right from 18th century but women's weightlifting found its way for the first time at 2000 Sydney Olympics. India sent two women lifters (Sanamacha Chanu in 53 kg category and Karnam Malleswari in 69 kg category) at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Entering Sydney Olympics, she already had four medals in World championship, two gold medals in 1994 & 1995 and two bronze medals in 1993 & 1996. High expectation was on her since she has already won two world championship and had total of 29 International medals which included 11 gold.

Up until the Olympics, Karnam Malleswari used to compete in the 63 kg category in which she even won a silver medal at 1998 Asian championship but at the Olympic she competed in the 69 kg category. In the 2000 Sydney Olympics, She lifted 110 kg in snatch and 130 kg in Clean & jerk and with the combined weight of 240 kg she won a bronze medal. The lifter was just short of 2.5 kg where the gold medalist lifted combine weight of 242.5. By winning the bronze medal at the Olympics, she became the first Indian woman to win an Olympic medal.

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