Malleswari, is the first ever Indian woman to win
a medal at the Olympics.
Third daughter of Shyamala and Manohar, a
railway employee, Malleswari was born on June 1, 1975
in Usavani-peta near Amudala-valasa of
Inspired by her elder sister Narsamma, a renowned
weight lifter of the late eighties, Malleswari was initially
trained by Neelam Shetty Appanna, who was Narsamma's
coach. With just a few tips from the coach, she won
the fourth state level Weight Lifting Championship
at Vizianagaram in 1988. Officials recognised
her talent and sent her to Sports Authority of India's
(SAI) training camp, where she was moulded into
a world champion by Russian coach Tarnenko and
Pal Singh Sandhu of India.
Malleswari attracted world attention when she carried
away the gold medal in 1994 World Championship
held at Istanbul, Turkey. China, the winner
of Gold, failed the dope test and eventually Malleswari
was awarded the Gold. In the following year, Malleswari
defeated the Chinese in their homeland. She continued
this winning streak in the Asian Championships
in 1997 and 2000.
Right from 1990 onwards, Malleswari, who excelled at
the international level, remains India's national champion
in weight lifting. She was honoured with the Arjuna
Award (1994) and the Rajeev Khel Ratna Award
In 1990-91 Malleswari was in the 52 kg body weight
category but in1992 she moved in to the 54 kg category.
At the Sydney Olympics, she competed in the 69
kg category and lifted a total weight of 240 kg.
Malleswari is married to Rajesh Tyagi, also a weight
lifter and Deputy Manager at the Food Corporation of India.