It was an emotional homecoming for newly-crowned Olympic silver-medallist Mirabai Chanu, who broke down on meeting her mother here on Tuesday before being felicitated by Manipur chief minister N Biren Singh at the airport. Tokyo Olympics | Full Schedule | Sports News
Much like the reception at the Indira Gandhi International Airport on Monday, Chanu was met with media frenzy at the Bir Tikendrajit International Airport in Imphal.
Mirabai Chanu hails form Nongpok Kakching village, which is around 25km from Imphal. Photo: Twitter
A stringent training regimen after the 2016 Rio Games had limited Chanu's visits to home for the past five years.
This silver medal is even more special because of the love people of India and my state Manipur have shown me. I'm grateful to each and every person who came today to congratulate me and gave me their blessings. pic.twitter.com/f5ltSNqHXo— Saikhom Mirabai Chanu (@mirabai_chanu) July 27, 2021
Chanu, who won the silver medal in the women's 49kg category on Saturday, 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.
"This silver medal is even more special because of the love people of India and my state Manipur have shown me. I'm grateful to each and every person who came today to congratulate me and gave me their blessings," she tweeted after the fresh round of felicitations which involved a victory lap in the city where people lined up the streets to see her.
The now famous gold earrings, shaped like the Olympic rings, that Chanu sported at the Games were a gift from her mother who sold her own jewellery for them five years ago ahead of the Rio Games in the hope of bringing the weightlifter luck.
The 26-year-old hails form Nongpok Kakching village, which is around 25km from Imphal.
From the airport, Chanu went to attend a Manipur state government felicitation, which was hosted by the chief minister.
The 26-year-old lifted a total of 202kg (87kg+115kg) to better Karnam Malleswari's bronze in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
The diminutive weightlifter has six siblings, three sisters and two brothers.