Tokyo: Mirabai Chanu ended India’s 21-year wait for a weightlifting medal at the Olympics by clinching a silver medal in the 49kg category to open the country’s account here Saturday.
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. The gold went to China’s Hou Zhihui with an effort of 210kg (94kg+116kg) , while Aisah Windy Cantika of Indonesia took home the bronze with an effort of 194kg (84kg+110kg).
Considered her weakness in the run up to the marquee event, Chanu attempted 84kg in her first snatch attempt. The Manipuri took her time and cleanly heaved the barbell.
She lifted 87kg in her next attempt and raised the weight to 89kg, which was one 1kg more than her personal best of 88kg that she had lifted at the national championship last year.
However, she was unable to better her personal best and settled for 87kg in the snatch event only behind leader Zhihui, who created a new Olympic record with an effort of 94kg.
The Chinese lifter also holds the world mark (96kg) in the category. In the clean jerk, Chanu, the world record holder in the section, lifted 110kg and 115kg in the first two attempts.
However, she was unable to raise 117kg in her final attempt but it was enough to fetch her a medal and open India’s account.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated her on bringing home the silver medal from the event, stating it as a happier start with a stupendous performance. A regular presence in international events since 2014 in the 48 kg category, Chanu has won the World Championships and multiple medals at the Commonwealth Games. She was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India for her contributions to the sport. She was awarded Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awards by the Government of India for year 2018.
India Men’s Hockey has a winning start in Tokyo Olympics as they beat New Zealand 3-2 in the Pool A and qualify to the knockout stages on Saturday. Kane Russell opened the scoring account with a goal from the penalty corner in the first quarter. Without much wait, India responded with Rupinder Pal Singh’s Penalty stroke goal leveling the score 1-1. India took the lead 2-1 in the second quarter with Harmanpreet Singh’s strike from the penalty corner finding the back of the nets.
Mixed day for shuttlers
The Indian badminton players have both given a smile and a spot of bother to the fans with the doubles team causing an upset by defeating the world no.3 Chinese Taipei team and Sai Praneeth was defeated by Israel’s Misha Zilberman.
The Chirag Shetty-Satwik Sairaj team has pulled off a cliffhanger against the Chinese Taipei team of Yang Lee and Chi-lin Wang. India’s 16-21 win of the first set was reversed by the Taipei side in the second set to progress the game to the last set. Indian team edged over Taipei with a 27-25 lead to take the set and win the game.
Sumit Nagal advances
Indian Tennis player Sumit Nagal beat Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin 6-4, 6-7, 6-4 in the first round of men’s singles match in the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday. He also became the first Indian to win a singles match in Olympics since Leander Paes.
Exit for Sharath & Batra
India’s mixed doubles table tennis pair of Achanta Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra failed to qualify for the next round after suffering a heavy 0-4 defeat against the Chinese Taipei team of Yun Ju Lin and Cheng I Ching in the Round of 16 at Tokyo metropolitan gym — Table 1 on Saturday.
Hope ends on Judo
The lone Judo participant from India Sushila Devi has bowed out from her maiden Olympics in the very first round. Manipuri Judoka Sushila Devi was knocked out in the Elimination Round of 32 against Hungary’s Eva Csernoviczki.
Indian rowers Arjun Lal and Arvind Singh have qualified to the repechage event of double sculls by finishing fifth in the heats. The Indian-army duo raced to finish fifth after maintaining in the sixth position for all three distances (500m, 1000m, and 1500m). Arjun and Arvind managed to pull off a last-second entry into the repechage stage on the verge of an early elimination.
India’s Deepika Kumari paired up with Pravin Jadhav in the mixed event of archery. The duo registered a come-from-behind 5-3 win against Chinese Taipei’s Chih-Chun Tang and Chia-En to reach the quarter-finals. Korea, however. awaited them in the quarters. The inevitable happened where both Deepika and Pravin conceded a 2-6 defeat against An San and Kim Je Deok.