Mirabai Chanu ended India’s 21-year wait for a weightlifting medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2021 by clinching a silver medal in the 49kg category to open the country’s account on today (Day 1). The gold was won by China’s Hou Zhihui with an effort of 210kg and the bronze by Indonesia’s Aisah Windy Cantika with an effort of 194kg.
Chanu had won the silver medal in the women’s 48 kg weight class at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Glasgow; she went on to break the games record en route to the gold medal at the 2018 edition of the event held in Gold Coast. Her biggest achievement came in 2017, when she won the gold medal at World Weightlifting Championships held in Anaheim, United States. She was awarded Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award by the Government of India in 2018.
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. However, it was a disappointment for shooter Saurabh Chaudhary who could only finish 7th in the men’s 10m air pistol final in Tokyo Olympics 2021.
Table tennis players Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra lost to third seeds from Chinese Taipei, Lin Yun-Ju and Cheng I-Ching, in the mixed doubles round. The rowing pair of Arvind Singh and Arjun Lal Jat qualified for the repechage round after finishing fifth in the men’s lightweight double sculls heat. Indian judoka Sushila Devi’s challenge came to an early end as she lost her contest to Hungarian Eva Csernoviczki.