Mirabai Chanu has won India its first gold since 1995 at the Weightlifting World Championships.
Hailing from Manipur, the diminutive 4’11, 106 lb athlete picked up the honour thanks to an impressive 194 kg lift in the women’s 48kg, a new national record.
The athlete became emotional when she went up to the podium to collect the medal. It has been a good year for her so far—in September, she qualified for the Commonwealth Games 2018, after winning gold at the Commonwealth Senior (men and women) weightlifting championships held at Gold Coast, Australia.
Here are five facts about India’s newest weight lifting sensation.
She is employed by the Indian Railways and has a humble background.
Mirabai tasted bitter disappointment at last year’s Rio Olympics, her debut appearance on a grand stage. She was one of two lifters who did not finish her event.
She is the first Indian in over two decades to claim gold at the World Weightlifting Championships in Anaheim, USA, effectively bouncing back from her Rio disappointment.
She saw Kunjarani Devi’s performance at the 2004 Olympics and dreamt of podium glory.
She won her first gold medal at the age of 11.
Mirabai overcame not only personal hardships, but also tackled professional disappointment, and lifted approximately four times her body-weight, to claim her hard-earned gold at the World Championships!