Ace Indian weightlifter Mirabai Chanu returned to India to a grand welcome on Monday after winning silver medal in the womens 49 kg weightlifting category at the Tokyo Olympics. Mirabai was greeted at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, surrounded by security forces. The 26-year-old, with a face shield and mask on her face, was felicitated by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) officials.
“Happy to be back here in amidst so much love and support. Thank you so much [emoticon: India flag]," Mirabai tweeted after landing.
The Manipuri weightlifter lifted a total of 202kg (87kg in snatch and 115kg in clean and jerk) in the 49 kg category, finishing behind China’s Hou Zhihui on Saturday.
Mirabai became the second medallist from India in weightlifting, bettering Karnam Malleswari’s bronze in the 69 kg category at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Mirabai had, on Monday, tweeted before her departure from Tokyo: “Heading back to home. Thank you #Tokyo2020 for memorable moments of my life."
With a superlative performance in Tokyo, Mirabai laid to rest the horrors of 2016 Rio Olympics, where she failed in two out of three lifts in snatch and was unable to register a valid lift in clean and jerk.
Mirabai was gold-medallist in the 2017 World Championships and 2018 Commonwealth Games in the 48 kg category.
She was training in St Louis, USA under Dr. Aaron Horschig in the run-up to the Olympics and lived up to the billing.