Tokyo: Ace weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu opened India’s medals tally on Saturday as she bagged a silver in the Women’s 49kg category here at Tokyo International Forum.
Chanu lifted a total of 202 kg (87kg in snatch and 115kg in clean and jerk) during her four successful attempts across the competition. China’s Zhihui Hou bagged gold with a total of 210kg and created a new Olympic Record while Indonesia’s Windy Cantika Aisah grabbed bronze with a total of 194kg.
With this monumental silver medal, Chanu has become the second Indian weightlifter to win an Olympic medal after Karnam Malleswari bagged bronze in the 69kg category at the 2000 Sydney Games when the weightlifting arena was opened to women for the first time.
Mirabai got off to a flying start after she completed her lift of 84 kg in the first attempt in snatch. Manipur-born weightlifter then proceeded to complete the 87kg weightlift with ease but failed to complete the 89kg lift in her last attempt.
USA’s Jourdan Elizabeth Delacruz posed the only challenge for the Indian weightlifter for 2nd place in the first half of the competition. Delacruz tragically missed equalling her personal best of 89kg — which should have placed her in second spot — when judges overruled her attempt.
Current World record holder Zhihui Hou in snatch as expected created a new Olympic Record with 92kg attempt and then improved on it by completing 94kg lift in the last attempt.
In clean and jerk, the 26-year-old Indian came all guns blazing as she completed her first attempt of 110kg with ease and improved it later by lifting 115 kg.