Joy and dismay for Team India: Mirabai Chanu wins silver, shooter Saurabh Chaudhary finishes 7th
- Mirabai Chanu opened India's medal account in Tokyo
- She lifted a total of 202Kg on Saturday
- India failed to win a medal in shooting today
Mirabai Chanu opened Team India's medal account in the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday as she clinched a silver medal in Weightlifting's 49 Kg category. India's 19-year-old shooter Saurabh Chaudhary finished seventh in the final of the 10M Air Pistol event.
Mirabai, who became India's fifth silver Olympic medalist in singles events, lifted a total of 202 kg (87kg in snatch and 115kg in clean and jerk) during her four successful attempts in the competition. China's Zhihui Hou bagged gold with a total of 210kg, creating a new Olympic Record while Indonesia's Windy Cantika Aisah grabbed bronze with a total of 194kg.
India's other Olympic silver medalists are Rajyavardhan Rathore (Athens 2004), Sushil Kumar (London 2012) and PV Sindhu (Rio 2016).
Competing in her second summer Olympics, Mirabai became only the second Indian weightlifter to win a medal in the Games after Karnam Malleswari, who had won bronze during the Sydney 2000 Games in the 69Kg category.
On Saturday, Mirabai began on a high as she lifted an 84Kg successfully on her first attempt in the snatch segment. The 26-year-old weightlifter improved with an 87Kg that handed her the advantage in the competition.
However, Mirabai's boost was cut short when eventual gold medalist Hou Zhihui of China hit her strides with an 88kg lift in her first attempt. Hou Zhihui then set a new Olympic record in the snatch at 94kgs in her third lift.
In the clean and jerk round, Mirabai began by lifting 110 kgs, before bettering it with a performance of 115 kgs in the second. Although the Imphal-based weightlifter Mirabai tried to challenge the Olympic champion with an aspiring 117kg in her third attempt but she fell short of the mark in the end.
In what was a historic moment in the Indian sporting history, Malleswari's win in 2000 inspired so many weightlifters in India to take up the field over the last few years such as Mirabai Chanu, Sanjita Chanu, Sukhen Dey, Ganesh Mali and Sathish Sivalingam, among others.
Mirabai's breakthrough tournament was the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, where she won silver in the 48kg before she converted the colour into gold in the following edition of the competition in Gold Coast in 2018. The Indian ace weightlifter also won gold at the 2017 Anaheim World Championships.
Slow star in final cost Saurabh
Saurabh Chaudhary, who topped the qualifying charts in the 10M Air Pistol event on Saturday, failed to win a medal. The World No. 2 started slowly in the final and eventually managed only a respectable seventh place in the event.
The 19-year-old Air Pistol shooter, who was one of India's medal prospects, finished with a disappointing outing in the final at the Akasa Range. He shot a total of 137.4 in the finals.