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IN PHOTOS: Mirabai Chanu returns home after winning silver for India in Tokyo

·5 min read
Mirabai Chanu
Mirabai Chanu returns home after winning the silver medal for India at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. (Photo by Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Indian weightlifter Mirabai Chanu returned to the country on Monday after her superb silver medal-winning performance at the Tokyo Olympics, walking into sheer chaos after stepping out of the airport where social distancing went for a toss. Chanu walked out of the Indira Gandhi International Airport, flanked by security and clad in a face shield and mask.

Mirabai Chanu returns home
Saikhom Mirabai Chanu arrives at Indira Gandhi International Airport after winning silver for India at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. (Photo by Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
Mirabai Chanu
Indian weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu arrives at Indira Gandhi International airport following her stint in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. (Photo by Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
Saikhom Mirabai Chanu
Saikhom Mirabai Chanu at the Indira Gandhi International airport. (Photo by Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)
Mirabai Chanu
Mirabai Chanu arrives at Indira Gandhi International airport. (Photo by Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The girl from Manipur lifted a total of 202kg (87kg+115kg) in the 49kg category to better Karnam Malleswari's bronze in the 2000 Sydney Olympics on Saturday.

Viral Video: Mirabai Chanu's Young Fan Imitating Her Idol is Adorable

Mirabai Returns: ‘Happy to Be Back Amidst so Much Love & Support'

With that performance, she exorcised the ghosts of the 2016 Games where she had failed to log a single legitimate lift, leaving her shattered.

Chanu has also been a former world champion and a Commonwealth Games gold-medallist.

She was training in the USA before the Games and lived up to the medal expectations from her with a confident performance.

Silver medallist India's Mirabai Chanu
Silver medallist India's Chanu Saikhom Mirabai arrives at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. (Photo by MONEY SHARMA/AFP via Getty Images)
Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
(L - R) Silver medallist Chanu Saikhom Mirabai of India, gold medallist Hou Zhihui of China and bronze medallist Windy Cantika Aisah of Indonesia celebrate on the podium after the Weightlifting - Women's 49kg Group A on day 1 of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. (Photo by Wang Xianmin/CHINASPORTS/VCG via Getty Images)
Olympic Silver medalist Chanu Saikhom Mirabai of Team India
Chanu Saikhom Mirabai of Team India poses with the Silver medal. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chanu Saikhom Mirabai
This picture taken with a robotic camera shows India's Chanu Saikhom Mirabai competing in the women's 49kg weightlifting competition during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. (Photo by CHRIS GRAYTHEN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Chanu Saikhom Mirabai
India's Chanu Saikhom Mirabai competes in the women's 49kg weightlifting competition. (Photo by VINCENZO PINTO/AFP via Getty Images)
Chanu Saikhom Mirabai
Silver medallist India's Chanu Saikhom Mirabai gestures on the podium for the victory ceremony of the women's 49kg weightlifting competition during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. (Photo by VINCENZO PINTO/AFP via Getty Images)

The Manipuri's focus for the past five years also kept her away from her family and she said he spent just five days with them during this period.

Minister Vaishnaw announces Rs 2 crore reward

Minister for Railways Ashwini Vaishnaw on Monday felicitated weightlifter Mirabai Chanu who won a silver medal in the Tokyo Olympics and announced a reward of Rs 2 crore and promotion in her job in the Northeast Frontier Railway.

The minister said she has inspired billions around the world with her talent, handwork and grit.

‘Chanu created history, entire nation is proud of her’

Sports Minister Anurag Thakur on Monday hailed weightlifter Mirabai Chanu for creating history by winning the first-day medal at the Tokyo Olympics, an unparalleled feat by an Indian athlete in the history of the games.

He added that Chanu's success will inspire a generation of athletes, especially from the north-eastern region of the country.

Manipur to appoint Mirabai as Additional Superintendent of Police

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Monday announced that weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu, who won Silver at the Tokyo Olympics, will be appointed as the Additional Superintendent of Police in the state police department.

The state government would also reward her with Rs 1 crore, the chief minister said.

The Olympian who won the silver medal in the 49 kg category will hold the designation of Additional Superintendent of Police (Sports), Singh said.

The Manipur government has also decided to establish a world-class weightlifting academy in the state soon, he added.

Mirabai recalls shoulder issue due to lockdown that marred Olympic build-up

Training tirelessly, staying away from family and maintaining a strict diet for five years finally culminated in the moment Mirabai Chanu had been desperately waiting for — standing atop the Olympic podium but it almost didn't happen.

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The postponement of the Tokyo Games and a break in training due to the COVID-19 lockdown last year brought with it a shoulder issue for the weightlifter that could have led to a completely different result, something Chanu had been worried about.

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WITH INPUTS FROM PTI

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