It was an emotional homecoming for Indian weightlifter Mirabai Chanu who gave India its first medal in the Tokyo Olympics. Chanu could not control her tears when she met her mother in Imphal on Tuesday. Chanu was seen hugging her mother Saikhom Ongbi Tombi Leima and her father Saikhom Kriti Meitei with tears rolling down her face as security guards formed a ring around her. Mirabai has been preparing hard for the Tokyo Olympics which had limited her visit to home in the past five years.
Mirabai Chanu was felicitated by Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh at the airport. Much like the grand welcome at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi, Chanu was met with media frenzy at the Bir Tikendrajit International Airport in Imphal.
Chanu’s mother had a big role to play in her daughter’s success. It was the struggle of her mother who kept Chanu inspired.The famous Olympic shaped rings Chanu wore in the Olympics were given by her mother who sold her jewellery for them five years ago ahead of the Rio Olympics.
From the airport, Chanu went to attend Manipur state government felicitation, which was hosted by the chief minister. Chanu bagged a silver in the 49 KG category, lifting 202 Kg (87kg in snatch and 115kg in clean and jerk). Mirabai became only the second Indian weightlifter after Karnam Malleswari to bag an Olympic medal. She also became the sixth Indian woman to bag an Olympic medal after Malleswari, Mary Kom, Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, and Sakshi Malik.