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Mirabai Chanu Saikhom on Thursday became the first Indian after Karnam Malleswari in over two decades to claim a gold medal at the World Weightlifting Championship in Anaheim, USA. Olympic bronze medallist Karnam Malleshwari had won gold in the World Championships twice — in 1994 and 1995.
Chanu, an employee of Indian Railways, lifted 85kg in snatch and 109kg in clean and jerk to total an impressive 194kg in the women’s 48kg, in the process setting a new national record.
“What I have achieved today would not have been possible without the guidance of my coach Vijay Sharma. Me and my coach left no stone unturned in our quest to taste success at the top level,” Chanu said.
With a personal best of 192kg, Chanu entered into the competition as a strong medal contender and her quest for a gold medal was made easier by the absence of Rio Olympics 48kg gold medallist Sopita Tanasan of Thailand, who shifted to 53kg in this championship and China could not field any lifter due to a one-year ban for doping.
Chanu had finished ninth in the 2015 World Championships while she ended 11th in the 2014 edition.