India's first woman Olympic medalist, Karnam Malleswari, recently caught up with Sportskeeda, where she mentioned that she could have won two more medals for the nation had the organizers included women's weightlifting events in the 1992 and 1996 Olympics.
The female weightlifters competed at the grandest sporting event for the first time in the year 2000. Former Indian weightlifter Karnam Malleswari won the bronze medal in the 69 kg category that year.
In an exclusive chat with Indranil Basu on Sportskeeda's Facebook page, Karnam Malleswari opined that she could have been a three-time Olympic medal winner by 2000 because she was in her prime during the '90s decade.
I could have won a gold medal at the 1996 Olympics: Karnam Malleswari
Karnam Malleswari has won a whopping 24 medals in women's weightlifting. She won the World Championship in 1994 and 1995. Thus, the Padma Shri recipient believes that she would have had a strong chance of winning the gold medal at the 1996 Olympics if the event featured women's weightlifting.
"My journey started in the '90s. If there was a women's weightlifting competition in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, I could have won a medal there. Similarly, I could have finished on the podium at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics because I was the world champion in '94 and '95. There were talks that women's weightlifting would be included for the first time in Atlanta. So, I feel I could have seized the gold medal if the organizers had executed their plans in 1996," said Karnam Malleswari.
While men's weightlifting has been regularly featured at the Summer Olympics since 1920, the female lifters had to wait until 2000 to showcase their talent at the sporting extravaganza. Nevertheless, Karnam Malleswari impressed on her Olympics debut and fulfilled her dream by winning the bronze medal in Sydney.Published 27 Oct 2020, 14:50 IST