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Friday, June 17, 2011

first woman to win an Olympic medal in weightlifting


Karnam Malleswari (born June 1, 1975, Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh) is an Indian Weightlifter. To her first time she participated in the 'National Junior weight lifting championship and stood First. In 1992 she participated in the Asian champion ship which took place in Thailand and stood second and won three silver medals. She also won three Bronze medals in the world championship. She won a bronze medal in the 2000 Summer Olympics at Sydney, which made her the first Indian woman to win an Olympic medal . She is a recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, India's highest sporting honour for the year 1995-1996. She is also a recipient of the civilian honour Padma Shri in 1999.Malleswari is awarded the Arjuna Award in 1994, India's highest award in sports.

In 1995, Malleswari won the world weightlifting title in her class (54 kg) with a new record, by lifting 113.0 kg in the clean and jerk. Malleswari, who went on to win the contest's gold medal, beat the previous record of 112.5 kg set by China's Long Yuling in December 1993. She also won the 1995 Asian championship. She broke her own records in the Senior National Weightlifting Championship in 1997, and India's first medal, a weightlifting silver, in the 1998 Asian Games.In

Karnam Malleswari is an Olympic weightlifting champion, who proved herself as much better than the rest in her career and is considered to be exceptional in her talents. She had her greatest moment in the Olympic spotlight when she became the first woman to win an Olympic medal in this sport.She managed this victory in the 2000 Olympic Games in weightlifting in the women’s 69 kilograms division. It remained a lasting memory for her in her professional career as well. Her first win was at the Sydney Olympic Games where she won the medal in the weightlifting category, it was a great moment for her as well as for all of the women in India. 

While she only won the bronze medal, this proved to be a great moment for her. Perhaps better than her achievement of winning her gold medal in the World Championships held in China. It was the first time that Indian women represented and won medals in world level competitions, which was a great credit to her.Thus this great achievement of Karnam Malleswari remained a positive moment for the whole country since she was the first medal winner in Olympics and also the first Indian women to win the victory.She was the world champion in 1993 and 1994 in a weightlifting category of 63 kg. She won the achievement with great satisfaction and this made her a national hero. Thus she earned the title of “iron girl of Andhra Pradesh” and became the golden girl of India. 

Her golden achievement paved the way to create enthusiasm for new generations and enthusiasm among women. Malleswari practiced by lifting weights of more than 240 kg but she could not capture the gold medal in the Sydney Olympics and achieved only the bronze medal. But still, it remained a positive and golden moment in her professional career since no Indian women had ever done this before.She was born in a small village of India in 1979 and began weightlifting at the age of twelve in her village. Backed by the support of her family, namely from her mother Shyamala who vigilantly took care of her diet which is very vital for a weightlifter. Another interesting fact is that her sister, Krishna Kumari is also a national lifter and thus Malleswari was called the sport daughter of India.

Her greatest moment was when she was honored by the prime minister of India for bringing a sense of pride to her country of India. Her professional career was marked with the statement made by the country’s prime minister who said that her achievement is a unique achievement and her triumph is an acknowledgment to Indian women. To add to her victory in her performance in Sydney Olympics, cash prizes and messages praising her came from all over the world. 

These cash winnings paved the way for future professionals, a motivation since they realized that if talents are achieved, the government would award the professionals. The statement made by Malleswari after winning the medal was that she was overwhelmed with happiness and there would not be another such great moment like being the first Indian women to win an Olympic medal. This statement clearly depicts that she recognized this achievement as the greatest and most positive moment in her professional career. She was coached by a Belarussian coach named Leonid Taranenkohe . 

Thus with her achievement she brought fame not only to her country but also to her coach. It must also be mentioned that the Sydney Olympic Games gave women’s weight lifting professionals a great aid by recognizing their talents and by awarding them a competition at the international level.Having come from a sporting family background, she achieved many awards. To name a few: in 1994 she won gold in a world championship at Istanbul ; in 1995 she won the Asian championship in Korea. Her professional career also included a moment where she set a remarkable world record by winning three gold medals in China in 1995. 

She also had many awards in her career. One was the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 1994-1995. But in spite of all the achievements, the first appearance of her in weightlifting sports coupled with winning a bronze medal in 2000 during the Sydney Olympic Games was recognized by her as the greatest and most positive moment she had achieved in her career, the Olympics being the place where the greatest athletes from all over the world meet made it a great event in her world.This formed a tradition and lesson for future professionals, that sporting events are not only entertaining but are a way by which one can bring pride and fame to their country and also to themselves.

Malleswari was married in 1997 and took a break from competitive weightlifting, to return in 1998 for the Bangkok Asian Games. However, she struggled with her weight thereafter, and was unable to win a medal at the 1999 Athens World Weightlifting championships.There was contention over the choice of weightlifters for India's Olympic team. With three contestants and two spots, there was criticism when Kunjarani Devi was left out. However, Malleswari's bronze validates her selection.

Karnam is a Sanskrit word which means fame, dignity and pride."People keep asking me why India does not win more medals. It is all easy to talk about this sitting at big desks in air-conditioned rooms. But winning medals is not easy. We go into the field. We get injured. We can't sleep because of the pain. And then ... "

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