Saikhom Mirabai Chanu created history on Thursday morning by becoming the second Indian weightlifter after Karnam Malleswari to win a gold medal at the World Weightlifting Championships. Chanu achieved the feat by creating a new world record of 194 kg – 85 kg snatch and 109 kg clean-and-jerk. She was participating in the women’s 48 kg event at the Championships held in Anaheim, USA and began with a total of 85 kg and then followed up with 109 kg to deliver India it’s second gold medal since Malleswari did the country proud in 1995.
Chanu, who is employed with the Indian Railways, was in tears after seeing the tricolour from the podium. Olympic bronze medallist Karnam Malleshwari had won the top prize in worlds twice – in 1994 and 1995. Chanu’s outing in Anaheim was very different from the way things panned out in Rio last year when she put up a disappointing performance as she could not get an overall total in women’s 48kg after failing to lift the weight in any of her three attempts in clean & jerk section.
IWF WWC 2017 Women’s 48kg:
— IWF (@iwfnet) November 30, 2017
In a field of 12 lifters at the Rio Games, she was one of two lifters who did not finish (DNF) her event. Thailand’s Sukcharoen Thunya won the silver medal with a total lift of 193, while Segura Ana Iris bagged the bronze with 182kg. Some of the world’s top weightlifting nations such as Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Azerbaijan could not take part in the competition due to issues related to doping.
Earlier this year, in September, Chanu sealed passage to next year’s Commonwealth Games after winning gold at the Commonwealth Senior weightlifting championships held in Australia. Chanu had earlier looked in trouble when she failed to lift 85 kg in her second snatch attempt but made no mistake in the third to stay in the second spot. She then turned things around in clean and jerk lifting 103 kg, 107 kg and 109 kg in her three attempts.