The Manipur government today awarded Rs 20 lakh to Saikhom Mirabai Chanu, world champion weightlifter from the state. Mirabai won gold medal at the 2017 World Weightlifting Championships held in the USA. She is only second Indian to have achieved the feat after Karnam Malleswari who clinched back-to-back titles in 1994 and 1995. Presenting the reward of Rs 20 lakh to Mirabai, Chief Minister N Biren Singh said, “Efforts will be made so that sportspersons based outside the state return, and bring laurels both for the country as well as for the state.” Chanu, who is employed with the Indian Railways, had lifted 85kg in snatch and 109kg in clean and jerk to total an impressive 194kg in the women’s 48kg category to become world champion.
“As for Mirabai, a suitable offer will be given to her if she so desires, after consulting with sports bodies based in the state, to figure out what will be appropriate for her,” Biren said. Mirabai appreciated the initiative of the state government. “A lot of funds are required to excel at the global level. If proper attention is given to them, many players from the state can bring laurels for the country,” she said.