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Home > City Resources > Sports and Recreation > Karnam Malleswari


A winner's smileKarnam 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 Srikakulam District.

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. India's Pride

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 (1997).

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.

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