Commonwealth Games 2018: 8 things you need to know about Sanjita Chanu, India's second gold medallist at the Gold Coast
At the stroke of dawn, when India slept, Sanjita Chanu rose Commonwealth glory, barely breaking sweat, as she lifted one weight after another to steer clear of the rest of the pack.
Chanu's victory made it three medals for India at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. Interestingly, all three of India's medals -- 2 golds (Mirabai and Sanjita Chanu), and 1 silver (P Gururaja) -- have come from weightlifting.
The 24-year-old from Manipur has certainly captured everyone's imagination with her strong display in the women's 53kg category. On that note, let's take a look at 10 interesting facts about Sanjita Chanu.
#1 An early start
For anyone who wants to make a career in sports, it is important to start early. Chanu also started her career early on by taking up the sport of weightlifting in 2006, when she was just 12 years old. Years of toiling has enabled her to play at the biggest level and garner the support of all Indians.
#2 A deja vu at the Commonwealth Games
This is not the first time that Sanjita Chanu won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. In fact this is her second yellow metal from the Games, after having clinched the top prize at CWG 2014 in Glasgow.
Incidentally, her fellow Manipuri lifter, Mirabai Chanu, who won gold on Thursday in the 48 kg category at Gold Coast, stood alongside her on the same podium in Glasgow, having finished one spot behind Sanjita.
#3 Inspired by N Kunjarani Devi
The 50-year-old veteran, Kunjarani Devi who is also from Manipur, is her idol. A recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, Devi has a glorious history and Sanjita always looks to follow in her footsteps.
#4 The rough patch that made her the champion
After the glory of winning gold at CWG 2014, she suffered a back injury and had to miss the Asian Games and the World Weightlifting Championships, a few months later. It is very tough for an athlete to regain composure after an injury but she was hellbent and returned to her rigorous training regime very soon.
#5 Best buddies with Mirabai Chanu
Contrary to what many believe, Mirabai and Sanjita are not related. However, they both share a healthy competition and are also seen sharing tips with each other in training. With only five months separating the two in terms of age, we can expect much more from them in the future.
#6 A golden kitty
She was full of confidence, coming into the competition as she won a gold medal at Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships last year. Add to that, the gold in CWG 2014, this year's gold medal and we have a winner who has a rather large kitty of gold medals.
#7 Unhappy with Sports Ministry
The fact that she was not even considered for the final list of Arjuna Awardees, last year, made the young weightlifter unhappy as she believed that she had the achievements to carry her to the final list at least. She filed a written petition before the Delhi High Court regarding this matter. After this win, it will certainly add fuel to fire.
#8 A new Commonwealth Games record
Just like her compatriot Mirabai, Sanjita also broke the Commonwealth Games snatch record in the 53 kg category, as she lifted 84 kgs, to shoot into the lead. She later went on to use this early lead, as she clinched gold.