I am back with the third Olympic Individual Winner of our country. Do read my earlier post on Olympic Heroes of India.
Karnam Malleswari became the first ever Indian Woman to win an Olympic medal for the country. She won a Bronze medal in women’s weightlifting 69 kilograms category at Sydney Olympics. It was the only medal won by India in Sydney Olympics.
As It happened
September 19, 2000, Sydney, Australia
(Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)
During practice Malleswari used to lift more weight than the weight she lifted in Bronze medal match. At Sydney, Malleswari started with lifting 105 kilograms in the snatch event. Later she went for 107.5 Kg. In the final attempt she lifted 110 Kg and thus became the first ever woman Bronze medal winner of India.
Life Of The Champion
Karnam Malleswari was born in a small village of Andhra Pradesh. She began weightlifting at young age. During her career as a weightlifter she has been a national champion for the record 9 times. It is a huge achievement for any athlete. Interestingly her sister Krishna Kumari was also a national level weightlifter.
19 Sep 2000: (L to R) Erzsebet Markus of Hungary (Silver), Weining Lin of China (Gold) and Karnam Malleswari of India (Bronze) on the podium after the Womens 69kg Weightlifting at the Convention Centre in Darling Harbour on Day Four of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Mandatory Credit: Scott, Barbour/ALLSPORT
Malleswari owes her success to her family. They supported and encouraged throughout her career. Malleswari’s mother Shyamala has been a great anchor who took care of her diet. As diet plays a vital role for an athlete especially in weightlifting.
Malleswari’s win at Sydney boosted great confidence and enthusiasm among young Indian women.
There are 70 days to go for the world’s greatest sports extravaganza to begin. So here I want to attempt to write about our own Olympic heroes.
There will be series of posts based on an individual Olympic medalist. I will keep you posted. For now let’s look back at the history of our Olympic performance till now.
To understand what these great men and women Olympian champions of India have achieved requires a quick look at history. Hockey was the only team event where India has done consistently well. But when it comes to the Individual events it took more than a century to win an individual Gold medal for India. Finally Abhinav Bindra has done it at 2008 Beijing Olympics. But again he is the lone sailor. No other Indian has won an Olympic Gold medal yet.
The gala event of Olympics happens once after every 4 years. A champion goes through grinding hard work, the perseverance, and conquering all financial and mental troubles to achieve that one medal. I feel these champions are real mad. Without madness it is simply not possible to win. They run, they shoot, they lift weight, they walk, run more and they do it every day. It is incredible. They live for that single moment.
Since the commencing of the Olympic Games, India has won a total 13 Individual medals. Wrestler Khashaba Jadhav has won the first Bronze for India in the year 1952. Then it took more than 40 years to win individual medal for the second time. Tennis player Leander has achieved this feet; the year was 1996. Weightlifter Karnam Malleswari became the first ever Indian woman to win the medal at Sydney Olympics in 2000.
In the recent London Olympics India has done its best by wining 6 medals in individual sports. This is the greatest performance of our country in Olympics so far. Let’s be positive and hope to do one step better at Rio 2016 Olympics!