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Tokyo 2020: After Rio debacle, Mirabai Chanu redeems herself at Tokyo

Mirabai Chanu

Bengaluru, July 24: Having endured an eminently forgettable in outing at Rio Games four years back, Mirabai Chanu admits she had made up her mind then itself to give it at all at Tokyo 2020 and the Indian weightlifter did exactly that in the Japanese capital on Saturday (July 24).

The Manipur weightlifter won a silver medal in the 49kg category of women's weightlifting event to open India's account at the quadrennial extravaganza.

It was India's second Olympic medal in the sport after Karnam Malleswari's bronze that came 21 years ago at the Sydney Games.

Chanu lifted a total of 202 kg (87kg in snatch and 115kg in clean and jerk) during her four successful attempts across the competition. China's Zhihui Hou bagged gold with a total of 210kg and created a new Olympic Record while Indonesia's Windy Cantika Aisah grabbed bronze with a total of 194kg.

Who is Mirabai Chanu? Know The Success Story, Age, State, World Rankings, Records,

"I've just been home for five days in the past five years. Now I'll go with this medal," Chanu said during a virtual press conference organised by the Sports Authority of India (SAI).

Chanu revealed that after the Rio Games debacle she changed her training and technique completely so that she could redeem herself in Tokyo.

"My dream of winning an Olympic medal has been fulfilled. I tried a lot in Rio, put in a lot of effort but it was not my day then. I thought that day only that I'll prove myself in Tokyo," added Chanu.

Considered a strong medal contender five years ago in Rio as well, Chanu buckled under pressure in the women's 48kg event and failed to log a legitimate lift.

"I was very sad after Rio, there was a lot of pressure on me and I got nervous, I couldn't understand anything for days but then coach sir and the federation counselled me, told me that I've a lot of potential," she added.

Chanu hoped her exploits in the international arena and the Olympics win can inspire more girls to take up the sport specially weightlifting.

"There'll be change, there're few girls in weightlifting right now, but I hope many will be inspired by me and will feel they can also achieve something in the sport," Chanu concluded.

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Story first published: Saturday, July 24, 2021, 21:56 [IST]
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