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Weightlifting

Who is Mirabai Chanu? Age, Records, Biography, Medals, Earnings, Olympics performance

Weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu is a Silver medalist in the 49kg division at the Tokyo Olympics this year; let's have a look at her life and career.

Indian Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu
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Mirabai Chanu

By

Keyur Jain

Updated: 2021-07-24T13:11:13+05:30

Mirabai Chanu, who began lifting firewood as a child, is now one of India's biggest weightlifting stars. Saikhom Mirabai Chanu, the girl from the East Imphal district of Manipur scripted history as she won the silver medal in the Women's 49kg Weightlifting event at the Tokyo Olympics.

She began winning international medals and getting recognition at a young age by competing on the international stage. Mirabai Chanu was considered a favourite in the women's 49kg category in Tokyo Olympics 2020.

How old is Mirabai Chanu?

Mirabai Chanu, a native of Manipur's capital city Imphal, was born on August 8, 1994, in Imphal and is 26 years old. She won her first gold medal in a local weightlifting competition when she was 11 years old. Later, she began her international weightlifting career by competing in the World and Asian Junior Championships, where she won medals in both. She idolises Indian weightlifter Kunjarani Devi.

What are Mirabai Chanu's achievements?

Mirabai Chanu first demonstrated her potential on the international stage when she earned a silver medal in the 48kg category at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, at the age of 20.

Mirabai won the gold medal at the World Weightlifting Championships in Anaheim, USA, in 2017. She became the first Indian weightlifter to achieve it in over two decades.

Chanu suffered a lower back injury in 2018, making it impossible for her to compete in any of the events throughout the year. She made a remarkable comeback in 2019 in the World Championships in Thailand. Despite finishing fourth, she made the event memorable by surpassing the 200kg mark for the first time in her career.

During the 2021 Asian weightlifting championships in Tashkent in April, Mirabai Chanu set a new world record in the women's 49kg clean and jerk with a lift of 119kgs. Chanu, on the other hand, had to settle for a bronze medal in the Asian meet due to subpar performance in the snatch.

N. Biren Singh, the Chief Minister of Manipur, honoured Chanu and awarded her with a prize of 2 million rupees. She was awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, India's highest civilian sports honour, in 2018. Chanu was given the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2018.

Mirabai Chanu won Silver Medal at Tokyo Olympics 2020 and was the only Indian Weightlifter competing from Indian contingent in Weightlifting.

Earnings

Mirabai Chanu earns Rs. 50,000 each month as part of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports flagship programme, The Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS).

Performance in Olympics

Chanu broke former Indian weightlifter and her idol Kunjarani Devi's 12-year-old record in the 2016 national trials for the Rio Olympics, securing her a place on the national squad for the Rio Olympics.

At the Rio Olympics, she was unable to complete any of her three 'clean and jerk' efforts and only had one successful 'snatch' attempt.

Mirabai received a DNF (did not finish) and was unable to get a medal, but she maintained her strong mentality and made a comeback later in 2017.

Mirabai was already hoping to win a medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020, this time with more confidence and experience.

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