Never before in the history of Commonwealth Games, was the Indian contingent so dominant at multi-sport international event. One striking reflection from the Games though was the emergence of women athletes and especially from the Northeast of India, the Manipuri girls.
Manipuri Girls Lifting their way to GOLD – Mirabai Chanu
On the very first day of one of the world’s most prestigious tournament, the new weight-lifting queen of India, 23-year-old Saikhom Mirabai Chanu, set a new record in the 48kg category and bagged the first gold for the country during the 21st Commonwealth Games 2018 at Gold Coast, Queensland in Australia.
With her remarkable performance, Chanu set a record on snatch by pulling off a clean lift in all her three attempts on 80kg, 84kg and 86kg.
She then lifted more than double her body weight (103kg, 107kg and 110kg) in three successful attempts to claim the clean and jerk as well as the overall Games record.
“With an aim of breaking my own record, I came here and today I have broken the record again by winning the Gold medal. This is my second medal in Commonwealth Games; the first was a silver medal and now I got the Gold medal and I am totally overwhelmed,” Chanu told Media.
With two CWG medals in her kitty now, Chanu has now set eyes on the upcoming Asian Games 2018.
Chanu’s father, Saikhom Kriti said, “I wanted people to recognize my daughter’s hard work and finally today her hard work has paid off.”
Manipuri Girls add another medal – Sanjita Chanu
A day after Chanu’s victory, 24-year-old Khumukcham Sanjita Chanu, the champion of Glasgow Commonwealth Games 2014, won the second gold medal for the country at Gold Coast under 53kg category in weightlifting.
Chief Minister of Manipur, N Biren Singh congratulated the girls and said, “It is a proud moment for the entire nation. Mirabai and Sanjita have won two gold medals at the Commonwealth Games and government of Manipur has announced Rs. 15 lakh each reward to both of them. And I congratulate both of them on behalf of the state government as well people of Manipur.”
“I think the family’s condition itself is the motivational factor. Because in rural areas, the hardships and a troubled life they are experiencing are unknowingly teaching them how to struggle in any field,” said Sajita’s brother, Bijain Kumar Meiti.
After they claimed the top spots, congratulatory wishes poured in from fellow countrymen across all walks of life. Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter to congratulate them for their inspiring performances.