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Personal Information

Full NameSaikhom Mirabai Chanu
BornAugust 08, 1994
Age27 Years, 9 Months, 14 Days
National SideIndia

Saikhom Mirabai Chanu Profile

It was the year 2016, when a 21-year-old Mirabai Chanu suffered heartbreak at the Rio Games -- a day before her 22nd birthday. She failed to get an overall total in the women's 48kg category after being unable to register a successful lift in any of her three attempts in clean and jerk. With her dreams of winning a medal left shattered, a "completely broken" Chanu had to consult a psychologist to overcome the disappointment. Fast forward five years, and the Indian weightlifter turned agony into pure ecstasy by ending India's 21-year wait for a weightlifting medal at the Olympics.

Mirabai Chanu became India's first medal winner at the Tokyo Olympics, winning silver in the women's 49kg category on Saturday.

She became only the second weightlifter from the country after Karnam Malleswari to win a medal at the Olympics. Malleswari had won a bronze in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, but Chanu went a step further to bag only the seventh individual Olympic silver for India.

A world record holder in clean and jerk, Mirabai Chanu produced a sensational performance in Tokyo . She started with a bang lifting 84kg in her first snatch attempt, followed by another successful lift of 87kg in her next attempt. She went for 89kg in her final lift but failed to register a successful lift.

Then came the moment which will forever be etched in the memories of Indian fans. In the clean and jerk round, Chanu started off with a lift of 110kg, assuring herself of at least a silver medal.

Her Chinese opponent, Hou Zhihui, who took gold in the event, was unrelenting in her charge towards the top of the podium. Having broken the Olympic record with a lift of 94kg in snatch, she registered successful lifts of 109, 114, 116 in her three clean & jerk attempts to register an overall total of 210 -- also a new Olympic record.

With a smile on her face, Chanu kept at it, knowing very well that the gold was out of her grasp. In her second clean & jerk attempt, Chanu successfully lifted 115kg. However, in her final attempt she failed to lift 117kg to finish on a total of 202kg.

It was sweet redemption for the Manipuri weightlifter.

"Players need psychologist a lot. Sometimes we feel really dull, we don't feel like training or if we get injured during training, we feel low. At that time a psychologist helps a lot. They motivate us," Chanu had said earlier this year.

"After I failed in the Rio Olympics I was completely broken. I had aspirations of winning a medal, but I was not able to do so. So, I kept thinking 'after working so hard why did I fail'.

After her disappointing show at the Rio Games, Chanu roared back into form by winning gold at 2017 World Championship and 2018 Commonwealth Games.

She then overcame an unspecified back problem, which marred her progress in 2018, and changed her weight category to 49kg from her original 48kg after the international federation decided to introduce new categories in the sport in the run up to the Tokyo Games.

She then made her medal intentions clear with a world record lift of 119kg in clean and jerk at the Asian Championships, her last tournament ahead of the Tokyo Games.