Tolyo Olympics 2020: Mirabai Chanu of India in action (Image: Reuters)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the country in congratulating Mirabai Chanu, who on July 23 ended India's 21-year wait for a weightlifting medal at the Olympics by clinching a silver in the 49 kg category at the Tokyo Games here.
The 26-year-old lifted a total of 202 kg (87 kg+115 kg) to better Karnam Malleswari's bronze in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and open India's account in Tokyo.
With this, she exorcised the ghosts of the 2016 Games where she had failed to log a single legitimate lift.
The gold went to China's Hou Zhihui for an effort of 210 kg (94 kg+116 kg), while Aisah Windy Cantika of Indonesia took home the bronze with an effort of 194 kg (84 kg+110 kg).
Wishing Mirabai on her success, PM Modi said her feat will inspire the future generations.
"Could not have asked for a happier start to Tokyo Olympics 2020! India is elated by Mirabai Chanu’s stupendous performance. Congratulations to her for winning the Silver medal in weightlifting. Her success motivates every Indian" (sic)
Sports Minister Anurag Thakur and his predecessor Kiren Rijiju too congratulated the weightlifter for bagging a medal for India on the first day of the competitions here.
"India's first medal on day 1! Mirabai Chanu wins SILVER in women's 49kg weightlifting! India is so proud of you Mira!" Thakur wrote on his twitter handle.
"India strikes first medal at Olympic Tokyo 2020. Mirabai Chanu wins silver Medal in 49 kg Women's Weightlifting and made India proud. Congratulations" (sic)
India's lone Olympic gold medallist and former shooter Abhinav Bindra too took to the social networking platform to wish Mirabai.
"Many many Congratulations to Mirabai Chanu on winning India's first medal at Tokyo 2020. Such An inspiring performance that will be remembered for a long time to come and will inspire generations. Well done." (sic)
Cricket stars including batting legend Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman and Gautam Gambhir, also were not left behind as they congratulated the Manipuri lifter for her success.
"MIRABAI CHANU! Absolutely amazing display of weightlifting. The way you have transformed yourself after your injury and clinched a historic silver for Team India is absolutely stupendous. You have made India very proud." Tendulkar tweeted.
"Ghazab. Bhartiya Naari Sab par Bhaari. Mirabai Chanu, remember the name. Thank you for making us all proud Mirabai Chanu, and winning us a Silver at the Olympics. Many more to come," wrote Sehwag, known for his witty tweets.
"Congratulations Mirabai Chanu on making us proud and bringing us glory. Our first medal at the Tokyo Olympics 2020, a Second place medal in the Women's 49kg weightlifting. Super Proud," Laxman said.
Gambhir added: “1.3 billion Indians proud of Mirabai Chanu!” (sic)
Olympic medallist wrestler Sakshi Malik and double Commonwealth Games gold medallist lifter Satish Shivalingam too were effusive their praises for Mirabai's feat.
"Mirabai Chanu wins silver Medal in 49 kg Women's Weightlifting and made India proud. Congratulations Mirabai Chanu!" Sakshi wrote on her twitter page.
Shivalingam said he got emotional while watching Mirabai creating history in Tokyo.
"History create ho gaya. Itna aasan nahi hota (History has been created. It was not easy), it is a very very big thing. I had tears in my ears. It will be difficult for anyone to emulate this performance," he said.