New Delhi, Jul 24: India’s weightlifter Mirabai Chanu has made her country after she clinched Silver medal at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics on Day 2 of the games. Chanu was a big favorite to get a medal for India and she didn’t disappoint as she came up with her best. The weightlifter from Manipur lifted 87 kgs in snatch and then made an Olympic record after she lifted 115 kgs in clean and jerk to bag her maiden Olympics medal.Also Read - Neeraj Chopra, Tokyo Olympics 2020 Gold Medallist, Receives Special Gift From 2008 Beijing Winner Abhinav Bindra
After Chanu clinched a Silver in Tokyo Olympics, her mother Leima was proud as well as emotional. Leima recalled that Chanu was wearing the same earring which she had gifted her before Rio Olympics to wish her luck. However, Chanu could not come up with a clean lift in Rio but turned the tables in Tokyo. Also Read - Thorough Coaching Programme Reason Behind Indian Hockey Revival: MM Somaya
“I saw the earrings on TV, I gave them to her in 2016 before the (Rio) Olympics. I have made it for her from the gold pieces and savings I have so that it brings luck and success,” Leima told PTI from her home in Manipur where a considerable number of relatives, friends, and well-wishers gathered to watch Chanu script history in Tokyo. Also Read - PR Sreejesh Opens up to Amitabh Bachchan Regarding Challenges, Says Playing on Astro Turf Totally Different From Playing on Natural Grass
“I was in tears seeing it and also during the moment, she won the medal. Her father (Saikhom Kriti Meitei) was also in tears. Tears of joy. All her hard work has led to the success.”
Chanu ended India’s 21-year wait for a weightlifting medal at the Olympics, clinching second place in the 49kg category to open the country’s account on Saturday.
The 26-year-old lifted a total of 202kg (87kg+115kg) to better Karnam Malleswari’s bronze in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
With this, she exorcised the ghosts of the 2016 Games where she had failed to log a single legitimate lift.
The Chanu household at Nongpok Kakching village, around 25km from state capital Imphal, visitors had been trickling in since Friday despite the curfew caused in part by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chanu has six siblings, three sisters and two brothers.
“She had told us she will win gold or at least a medal. So, everybody was waiting for it to happen. Many of our relatives who lived far came last evening. They stayed overnight with us,” Chanu’s mother said.
“Many came this morning and the people of the locality also thronged. So, we have brought out the television to the verandah and around 50 people were there to watch Mirabai in Tokyo. Many sat at the front courtyard. So, it was a kind of festival.
“A lot of journalists have also come. This is something we have never experienced.”
The gold they had wished for didn’t come but the silver was enough to send a packed courtyard, glued to the TV, into a frenzy as the tense little crowd broke into celebrations, unclenching their fists and clapping frantically.
Chanu was on a video call with her family from the weightlifting arena in Tokyo before her event began and she had sought blessings from her parents.
“She (Chanu) rarely comes home (because of training) and so we have made a WhatsApp group to communicate with each other,” said Chanu’s cousin Aroshini.
“This morning, she had a video call with all of us and she bowed down and sought blessings from her parents.
“She said ‘bless me to win a gold medal for the country. They gave their blessings. It was a touching moment.”
With PTI Inputs.