Saikhom Mirabai Chanu - Indian Weightlifter

A photo of Saikhom Mirabai Chanu, an indian weightlifter
Saikhom Mirabai Chanu of Manipur

  • Name: Saikhom Mirabai Chanu
  • Sports Category: Weightlifting
  • Weight Category: 48 kg
  • Born: 8 August 1994
  • Nationality: Indian
  • State: Manipur
  • Home Town: Nongpok Kakching village
  • Marital Status: Unmarried

About Saikhom Mirabai Chanu- The Golden Girl

Mirabai Chanu the Golden Girl of India , has enchanted a reputation multi-fold with a gold winning feat, breaking records and surpassing her personal best. Chanu, a Manipur born weightlifter, the reining world champion in women' weightlifting 48 kg category. She broke six records in six lifts in the women' 48 kg category. She works as a senior ticket checker with the Indian Railways. This Padmashree Awardee heralded the beginning of a new era in Indian sports, becoming an inspiration for many.

Early Life

Mirabai was born on 8th August, 1994 in Manipur. She lived in Nongpok Kakching village in Imphal with her family. She is the youngest of six siblings.

Both her parents had to work very hard to make ends meet. Her father, Saikhom Kriti Meitei, was a low level employee at the Public Works Department and her mother Saikhom Ongbi Tombi Leima, is a shopkeeper.

Her family identified her extraordinary strength from an early age. One day Mirabai went with her older brother to a nearby wood to collect some firewood. But the pile of wood they gathered was too heavy for her brother to lift. Although young, Mirabai easily lifted the pile and carried the bundle to their home about 2 km away. 
A photo of Chanu Saikhom Mirabai crying after winning gold

Chanu Saikhom Mirabai is trained by one of the most celebrated weightlifting sportswomen in India, Kunjarani Devi.
"When I was a kid, I first saw Kunjarani Devi, the sport looked so appealing, I was baffled at how she was lifting such heavyweights. So I told my parents that I wanted to do this, with much reluctance they agreed. In our state, you can compare Kunjarani to weightlifting and Sania Mirza is to tennis. Every Manipuri girl wanted to be like her. I saw Kunjarani Devi’s performance at the 2004 Olympics and dreamt of podium glory."

Chanu maintains a regular presence in women' weightlifting competitions after clinching a silver medal for India at the Glasgow edition of the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

Also Read: Capitals of Northeastern states of India

Overview of her Sports Career

Saikhom has been participating in international weightlifting events since 2014 in the 48 kg category.

  • In International Youth Championship - 2011, she won the gold medal.
  • In Junior National Championship - 2013, held in Guwahati (Assam), she was awarded the Best Lifter Award.
  • In 2014 Commonwealth Games, held at  Glasgow, Mirabai Chanu had won the silver medal in the women's 48 kg weight category.
  • Although she qualified Rio Olympics (2016), but failed to win the event. 
  • In 2017 World Weightlifting Championships, held in Anaheim (United States), Mirabai won the gold medal in the women' 48 kg category by lifting a total of 194 kg (85 kg snatch and 109 kg clean & jerk). Sukcharoen Thunya of Thiland won the silver medal and Segura Iris Ann of Colombia  bagged the bronze medal in the same match.
  • In 2018 Commonwealth Games, held in Gold Coast (Queensland), Chanu lifted a total of 196 kg (86 kg in Snatch and 110 kg in Clean and Jerk) to  break the games record for the category and win the first gold medal for India in the Commonwealth Games 2018.
  • In 2019 Asian Weightlifting Championships, she won Bronze in Clean and Jerk in the women' 49 kg category.
  • In 2019 Mirabai won gold at the EGAT Cup which is a silver level Olympic qualifying event, held in Thiland.

Major Awards

  • Saikhom Mirabai Chanu was awarded India's highest civilian sports honor Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 2018 at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
  • Chanu was also awarded with the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2018.
  • She was Crowned "Weightlifter of the Year" Award at Mahindra Scorpio Times of India(TOISA), 2018.
  • Saikhom Mirabai Chanu was felicitated by the Chief Minister of Manipur, N. Biren Singh, who presented her with a cash prize of ₹2 million.
Also Read: About Assam

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