'India is so proud of you Mira!'
President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi led the country in congratulating Mirabai Chanu, who ended India's 21-year wait for a weightlifting medal at the Olympics by clinching a silver in the 49kg category at the Tokyo Games on Saturday.
The 26-year-old lifted a total of 202kg (87kg+115kg) to better Karnam Malleswari's bronze in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and open India's account in Tokyo.
With this, she exorcised the ghosts of the 2016 Games where she had failed to log a single legitimate lift.
The gold went to China's Hou Zhihui for an effort of 210kg (94kg+116kg) , while Aisah Windy Cantika of Indonesia took home the bronze with an effort of 194kg (84kg+110kg).
President Kovind congratulated Chanu on her historic feat.
"Heartiest congratulations to Mirabai Chanu for starting the medal tally for India in the Tokyo Olympics 2020 by winning silver medal in weightlifting," Kovind tweeted.
Wishing Mirabai on her success, PM Modi said her feat will inspire the future generations.
"Could not have asked for a happier start to @Tokyo2020! India is elated by @mirabai_chanu's stupendous performance. Congratulations to her for winning the Silver medal in weightlifting. Her success motivates every Indian. #Cheer4India #Tokyo2020," Modi tweeted.
Sports Minister Anurag Thakur and his predecessor Kiren Rijiju too congratulated the weightlifter for bagging a medal for India on the first day of the competitions here.
"India's 1st medal on day 1 ! @mirabai_chanu wins SILVER in women's 49kg weightlifting! India is so proud of you Mira!," Thakur said.
"India strikes first medal at Olympic #Tokyo2020 Mirabai Chanu wins silver Medal in 49 kg Women's Weightlifting and made India proud Congratulations @mirabai_chanu! #Cheer4India," tweeted Rijiju.
India's lone Olympic gold medallist and former shooter Abhinav Bindra also lauded Mirabai.
"Many many Congratulations to @mirabai_chanu on winning India's first medal at #Tokyo2020. Such An inspiring performance that will be remembered for a long time to come and will inspire generations. Well done."
Cricket stars including batting legend Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, VVS Laxman and Gautam Gambhir, also were not left behind as they congratulated the Manipuri lifter for her success.
"MIRABAI CHANU! Absolutely amazing display of weightlifting. The way you have transformed yourself after your injury and clinched a historic silver for #TeamIndia is absolutely stupendous," Tendulkar tweeted.
"Ghazab. Bhartiya Naari Sab par Bhaari. #MirabaiChanu , remember the name. Thank you for making us all proud @mirabai_chanu, and winning us a Silver at the Olympics. Many more to come. #Tokyo2020," wrote Sehwag, known for his witty tweets.
"Congratulations #MirabaiChanu on making us proud and bringing us glory. Our first medal at the #TokyoOlympics2020 , a Second place medal in the Women's 49kg weightlifting . Super Proud," Laxman said. "
"1.3 billion Indians proud of #MirabaiChanu! ?? ????" said former India cricketer Gambhir.
Star Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia, who will compete in the Tokyo Olympics, said Chanu's silver will boost the morale of the entire Indian contingent.
Congratulations for a beautiful opening on medal tally @mirabai_chanu. This Second place medalmedal is a morale boost for our Indian contingent. Thank you for a spectacular performance…… jai hind."
With Saturday's feat, Chanu became the second Indian women to win a silver medal behind shuttler PV Sindhu.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav also congratulated the Manipuri.
"Heartiest congratulations to Mirabai Chanu for starting the medal tally for India in the Tokyo Olympics 2020 by winning silver medal in weightlifting," Gandhi said.
"Many congratulations to #MirabaiChanu for winning India's first medal in the ongoing #Tokyo2020 #Olympics," Akhilesh tweeted.