Saikhom Mirabai Chanu is one of the best weightlifters in the world at present. This 24-year-old star weightlifter from Manipur has already been conferred with the highest sporting honour of the country, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, for her amazing achievements in the world scene .
Mirabai Chanu first burst into the scene during the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games, where she finished second, behind her compatriot, K Sanjita, who won the gold. However, Mirabai soon became the number 1 weightlifter of the country, in her category, as she qualified for the 2016 Rio Olympics, ahead of K Sanjita.
However, she had a disappointing outing in the Olympics, where she failed to record a lift in the Clean and Jerk event. As a result, she finished outside the medals bracket, in spite of having a very good chance of winning a medal, after the Snatch event.
But like a true Champion, Mirabai Chanu came back stronger, and produced a superlative performance in the 2017 World Championships in USA. In the Women's 48 kg category, she became the new World Champion. She lifted a total of 194 kg (85 kg in Snatch and 109 kg in Clean and Jerk) to win the gold medal in the tournament. She defeated Thunya Sukchareon of Thailand, who is the current World Champion.
She continued her tremendous form, as she went on to win the 2018 Commonwealth Games gold medal, by creating a new Games record.
However before the 2018 Asian Games, she got injured and hence missed the Games. The lower back injury which she suffered before the Asian Games kept her out of action for 8 long months. As a result, she could not even defend her World Championship Title in 2018.
However, Mirabai Chanu again made a strong comeback with a gold medal-winning performance in the prestigious EGAT Cup in Thailand, in her new 49 kg category.
In the 48kg category, Mirabai Chanu has been the best weightlifter in the world. However in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, instead of her favourite 48kg category, Mirabai has to fight in the newly-introduced 49 kg category, where the competition will be tougher.
However, looking at her past achievements, it can be said that, if she is fit and in good form, then in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, she has a very good chance of winning the gold medal.
All the Indian sports fans will hope for nothing less than a gold from this great weightlifter in the next Olympics.
Also check the Tokyo Olympics 2020 medal tally