Tokyo Olympics 2020: Karnam Malleswari hopeful of Mirabai Chanu winning medal in Japan
The lady who saved India the blushes at Sydney Olympics in 2000 by winning the country’s only medal – a bronze in weightlifting – Karnam Malleswari is banking on Mirabai Chanu to succeed at this year’s Olympics in Tokyo.
Chanu, a former World Championships and Commonwealth Games gold medalist will be India’s biggest hope in the sport of weightlifting at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.
This sport has seen great success for the country in Commonwealth and Asian Games but has been barren in the biggest sporting extravaganza of the world.
However, Malleswari is bullish about Chanu ending the 20-year wait for a weightlifting medal in the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The legendary former sportsperson said,
“I am expecting Mirabai Chanu to perform very well at the Olympics this year. She learned a lot at the last Olympics, and I am sure she will win a medal this year.”
She further went on to express her optimism about the future of the sports in India and praised the current set up that is giving more exposure to young lifters.
“Now there are a lot of competitions for the weightlifters in India. There are youth, junior and senior weightlifting competitions. When we were in the junior category, we didn't go for any international tournaments."
Malleswari then went on to add,
“Now athletes have a chance to participate at the Youth Olympics as well. Only in the last ten years, junior athletes from India have started to go for international tournaments. So, this exposure has helped Indian weightlifters grow in India.”
Another observation made by the Olympic bronze medalist was the importance of Khelo India Games. She said,
“The more tournaments the athletes get to participate, the better it is for them. When we were training, we used to work hard the entire year and get to take part in just one national championship and one international championship."
“In case we couldn't do well in those one or two competitions then all our hard work was of no use. So the Khelo India University Games will definitely help athletes grow in the country.”
Hopefully, Karnam Malleswari’s predictions will come true and so will her optimism regarding the growth of her sport in our nation.
Published 01 Feb 2020, 17:17 IST