New Delhi [India], July 27 (ANI): Dedicating her victory to the prayers and love of Indians, Olympic Silver medallist Saikhom Mirabai Chanu said her dreams were shattered after Rio Olympic, but hard work, dedication and encouragement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi helped in bringing the first medal for India from Tokyo.
"I was able to win this medal because of the prayers and love of the people of India. I wish all young people especially girls who have entered sports to make the country proud. I dedicate my medal to the people of the country. I thank the prime minister and sports minister for encouraging me," said Chanu after returning to India on Monday.
Recalling her journey after Rio Olympics, Chanu said, "All my hopes and dreams were shattered after failing to win a medal in Rio Olympics. I had to make a comeback in weightlifting again. But later I realized that I can still do something for India. I worked hard, dealt with injuries and other difficulties and focused on my training. Because of all the hard work, today I reached this point."
When asked what she would like to do for youth, especially young girls from northeast India, the Olympics medalist said she would help in training the upcoming athletes.
"People of Northeast India know very little about sports right now. I will work to give recognition to the small state of Manipur by training youth, especially young girls," she added.
Chanu's Silver Medal could get upgraded. According to sources, China's gold medal winner Hou Zhihui is being tested by the anti-doping authorities. If Zhihui fails, Chanu could become the first Indian woman to win a Gold medal in weightlifting at Olympics.
After winning the Silver medal, Chanu returned to India on Monday, Union Railways Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw felicitated her. He also announced a reward of Rs 2 crore and promotion in her job in the Railways.
Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur also felicitated Chanu.
Union Minister for Law and Justice Minister Kiren Rijiju and Union Minister for Tourism, Culture and Development of North-Eastern region Kishan Reddy, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways and Minister for AYUSH, Sarbananda Sonowal and Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, Nisith Pramanik were also present.
Indian weightlifter Mirabai Chanu and her coach Vijay Sharma on Monday returned to India after a brilliant performance in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics. Chanu received a warm welcome as the staff at the Delhi airport cheered for her upon arrival. (ANI)