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India Wins First Medal at Tokyo Olympics as Chanu Mirabai Bags Silver in Women's Weightlifting

Tokyo 2020 Olympics - Weightlifting - Women's 49kg - Group A - Tokyo International Forum, Tokyo, Japan - July 24, 2021. Mirabai Chanu Saikhom of India in action. Pool via REUTERS/Chris Graythen
© REUTERS / CHRIS GRAYTHEN

Chanu Mirabai is the second Indian female athlete to win an Olympic weightlifting medal since Karnam Malleshwari. Malleswari won a bronze medal in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Ending India's wait for its first medal in the Tokyo Olympics medal, 26-year old Indian weightlifter Chanu Mirabai on Saturday won a silver medal in the women's 49 kg weightlifting competition. The Indian athlete lifted a total weight of 202kg.

​China's Hou Zhihui, who picked a combined weight total of 210kgs, secured a gold medal. 

​This is India's best start since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, as the country has not won any medal, let alone a silver in the first two days of the games in the past.

Minutes after she secured the medal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter and hailed her performance. In a tweet, PM Modi said that the Manipur weightlifter would motivate other Indian athletes.

​President of India Ramnath Kovind also took to Twitter to congratulate Mirabai Chanu.

​Many sports stars and celebrities also took to Twitter and congratulated Mirabai for her stellar performance. 

​Soon after Mirabai won the medal, social media users also started posting stories of her childhood hardship and about her village in Indian state Manipur. 

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