Ticket checker from Manipur Saikhom Mirabai Chanu bags world weightlifting gold, rewarded Rs 10 lakh
The weightlifter who won a World Championship gold medal and set a national weightlifting record is currently a senior ticket checker
Indian Railways' weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu will be richly rewarded on her return to India from Anaheim, USA, where she lifted a new national record of 194 kg (85 kg snatch and 109 kg clean-and-jerk) to win gold at the World Weightlifting Championships yesterday. Mirabai Chanu became only the second Indian weightlifter to win gold at the World Championships after Karnam Malleswari did the same 22 years ago in China.
Indian Railways' lifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu in action at the World Weightlifting Championship
"Mira is currently a Senior Train Ticket Examiner with the Northeast Frontier Railway in Guwahati and will receive an out-of-turn promotion to the post of Deputy Chief Ticket Examiner after winning this medal. She will also receive a cash award of Rs 10 lakh for her achievement," Parveen Vashist, sports coordinator of the Rai way Sports Promotion Board in New Delhi told mid-day yesterday. Vashisht was on the panel when the Railways employed Chanu three years ago. Chanu had a poor outing at the Rio Olympics last year when she registered a Did Not Finish (DNF) in the women's 48kg after failing to lift the weight in any of her three attempts in clean & jerk section. But this prestigious medal could sow the seeds of Olympic glory, felt Vashisht.
India's Mirabai Chanu attempts a lift en route the gold medal in the women's 48kg category at the World Weightlifting Championships in USA yesterday. Pic/IWF, PTI
"Mira is just 23, and this medal could spur her on to greater heights and possibly an Olympic medal at Tokyo 2020, just like Malleswari went on to win bronze at the 2000 Olympics, five years after her gold at the Worlds," said Vashisht, who added that the Railways were confident of a medal from Chanu at the current Worlds. "The national weightlifting coach, Vijay Sharma, is also employed with the Railways and before leaving for USA, he told us that this girl has the potential to win a medal," said Vashisht.
'Left no stone unturned'
Chanu was also grateful to her coach for her success. "What I have achieved today would not have been possible without the guidance of my coach Vijay Sharma. "My coach and I left no stone unturned in our quest to taste success at the top level," said Chanu, who won silver at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. In a closely-fought contest in the USA, Chanu defeated Sukhcharoen Thunya of Thailand by a narrow, one kilogram margin (193 kg), to capture the gold.
With inputs from PTI
194 The combined weight (snatch and clean & jerk) that Chanu lifted to win the gold medal at the competition
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