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The importance of weightlifting made in one of the prominent games to make a place in first modern Olympics in 1896 in Athens. But the first World Championships was held on 28th March 1891 in London where 9 countries participated with 7 athletes representing them. Modern weightlifting with barbells became popular towards the end of 19th century.

In 1935, the Indian Weightlifting Federation was formed. Shri Bijoy Chand Mahatab of Bordwan as its first President and Shri N.N. Bose, Barristwer-at-Law, was the first honorary Secretary in the same year it got affiliated with Indian Olympic Association and International Weightlifting Federation. In 1936 Berlin Olympic Games, Indian weightlifting team participated for the first time. Similarly, in the Asian Games India participated in 1951 held in Delhi and in Commonwealth Games in 1966 at Kingston.

Initially, five body weight categories were established for the Olympic Games. They were Feather Weight (60 kg), Light Weight (67.5 kg), Middle Weight (75 kg), Light Heavy Weight (82.5 kg) and Heavy weight (90 kg) and in 1972 Fly Weight (52 kg) and Super Heavy weight (over 110 kg). A new category (100 kg) was added in the year 1980.

Weightlifting in India is popularly known as lifting. In this game of strength, the participants need to lift heavy weights attached in the steel bars known as barbells.

Indian women weightlifters competed in the World Championships for the first time in 1989 at Manchester although it started in 1987. N. Kunjarani Devi won 3 Silver medals and Laila Polley won 2 bronze medals. Shyamala Shetty and Chhaya Adak also won Silver medals apiece in this Competition.

Saikhom Mirabai Chanu become the first woman to won GOLD medal in 48 kg weight category for India during any Edition of World Weightlifting Championships. She achieved this feat during 2017 IWF Senior (Men & Women) World Weightlifting Championships held at Anaheim (USA). After winning the Gold Medal during 2018 Commonwealth Games, she was honoured by Government of India with titles of PADAMSHREE AND RAJIV GANDHI KHEL RATNA.

Jeremy Lalrinnunga become the first Indian to won GOLD medal during Youth Olympic Games. He achieved this feat during 3rd Youth Olympic Games held at Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2018.

June 2024

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