TOKYO: Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the country in congratulating Mirabai Chanu, who on Saturday ended India’s 21-year wait for a weightlifting medal at the Olympics by clinching a silver in the 49kg category at the Tokyo Games here.
The 26-year-old lifted a total of 202kg (87kg+115kg) to better Karnam Malleswari’s bronze in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and open India’s account in Tokyo.
With this, she exorcised the ghosts of the 2016 Games where she had failed to log a single legitimate lift.
The gold went to China’s Hou Zhihui for an effort of 210kg (94kg+116kg) , while Aisah Windy Cantika of Indonesia took home the bronze with an effort of 194kg (84kg+110kg).
Wishing Mirabai on her success, PM Modi said her feat will inspire the future generations.
“Could not have asked for a happier start to @Tokyo2020! India is elated by @mirabai_chanu’s stupendous performance.
Congratulations to her for winning the Silver medal in weightlifting. Her success motivates every Indian. #Cheer4India #Tokyo2020,” Modi tweeted.
Sports Minister Anurag Thakur and his predecessor Kiren Rijiju too congratulated the weightlifter for bagging a medal for India on the first day of the competitions here. “India’s 1st medal on day 1 ! @mirabai_chanu wins SILVER in women’s 49kg weightlifting! India is so proud of you Mira !,” Thakur wrote on his twitter handle.
Rijiju added: “India strikes first medal at Olympic #Tokyo2020 Mirabai Chanu wins silver Medal in 49 kg Women’s Weightlifting and made India proud Congratulations @mirabai_chanu! #Cheer4India.”
India’s lone Olympic gold medallist and former shooter Abhinav Bindra too took to the social networking platform to wish Mirabai.
“Many many Congratulations to @mirabai_chanu on winning India’s first medal at #Tokyo2020. Such An inspiring performance that will be remembered for a long time to come and will inspire generations. Well done.”
Rahul Gandhi also wished Chanu on her incredible feat.