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Mirabai Chanu Had Promised a Tokyo Olympics Medal: Kiren Rijiju

Mirabai Chanu is India's first medallist at Tokyo Olympics. (Reuters Photo)

Mirabai Chanu is India's first medallist at Tokyo Olympics. (Reuters Photo)

Mirabai Chanu, who won a silver in the Tokyo Olympics, had promised to return with a medal, current Law Minister and former Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju recalled on Saturday.

Mirabai Chanu, who won a silver in the Tokyo Olympics, had promised to return with a medal, Law Minister Kiren Rijiju recalled on Saturday. He noted that winning a medal on the first day of the Olympics is very special as it “sets the tone". “That is why Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that nothing can be better than winning a medal on the first day," the former sports minister told reporters here. Chanu ended India’s 21-year wait for a weightlifting medal at the Olympics by clinching the silver medal in the 49 kg category to open the country’s account in Tokyo on Saturday.

The 26-year-old lifted a total of 202kg (87kg+115kg) to better Karnam Malleswari’s bronze in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. “Mirabai Chanu had left with a promise — earlier she had told me and she had later reiterated — that she would win a medal for the country from Tokyo (Olympics)," Rijiju recalled.

He also lauded the coordination between Chanu’s physiotherapist, coach, her technical team and the Sports Authority of India when the weightlifter was sent to the US for conditioning and training following an injury.

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first published:July 24, 2021, 21:53 IST