Karnam Malleswari

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Karnam Malleswari
Karanam malleshwari.png
Personal information
Full nameKarnam Malleswari
Born (1975-06-01) 1 June 1975 (age 45)
Voosavanipeta, Srikakulam district, Andhra Pradesh, India
Height163 cm (5 ft 4 in)
Coached byLeonid Taranenko[1]

Karnam Malleswari (born 1 June 1975) is a retired Indian weightlifter. She is the first Indian woman to win a medal at the Olympics. In 1995, she received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna,[2] India's highest sporting honour, and in 1999, the civilian Padma Shri award.[3]


Malleswari won the world title in the 54 kg division in 1994 and 1995 and placed third in 1993 and 1996.

In 1994, she won silver at the World Championships in Istanbul and in 1995 she won the Asian Weightlifting Championships in Korea in the 54 kg category. She won the title in China that year with a record lift of 113 kg at the World Championships. Even before her Olympic win, Malleswari was a two-time weightlifting world champion with 29 international medals, which includes 11 gold medals.[4]

Along with the national and international medals, Malleswari was also awarded with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 1999, Arjuna Award in 1994, and Padma Shri in 1999.[5][6]

At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Malleswari lifted 110 kg in the "snatch" and 130 kg in the "clean and jerk" categories for a total of 240 kg. She won the bronze medal and became the first Indian woman to win an Olympic medal.[7] She is also the first and only Indian woman weightlifter to win an Olympic medal.

Personal life[edit]

Malleswari was born in a brahmin family in Voosavanipeta near Amadalavalasa, a hamlet in Andhra Pradesh.[8] She has four sisters and all are well trained in weightlifting. She started her career when she was 12 and was trained under coach Neelamshetty Appanna.[9]

She moved to Delhi with her sister and was soon spotted by the Sports Authority of India. Then in 1990, Malleshwari joined the national camp and four years later, she was a world championship winner in the 54-kg class.[10]

In 1997, she married a fellow weightlifter Rajesh Tyagi, and in 2001 gave birth to a son. She planned to return to competitions at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, but withdrew due to the death of her father. She retired after failing to score at the 2004 Olympics.[1][11][12] She currently lives in Yamunanagar, Haryana, with her husband and works at the Food Corporation of India as Chief General Manager (General Administration).


  1. ^ a b Malleswari lifts Indian Olympic hopes – ‘I’m enjoying my preparation for a second medal... I’m very hopeful’. The Telegraph (8 July 2004)
  2. ^ List of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awards. sportsauthorityofindia.nic.in
  3. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  4. ^ BISWAS, SOUTIK (2 October 2000). "Bronze Woman". outlookindia. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  5. ^ "Blast from the Past: When India made a breakthrough with its weightlifting champion in the Olympics". 15 June 2016. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  6. ^ "Inspiring Women - Karnam Malleswari". Women's Web: For Women Who Do. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  7. ^ Ganguly, Meenakshi (27 December 2000) Conversations: 'I Did What I Could For My Country'. Time
  8. ^ "Karnam Malleswari: The woman who lifted a nation". The Hindu. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  9. ^ "Karnam Malleswari: The woman who lifted a nation". The Hindu. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  10. ^ "Bronze Woman". outlookindia. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  11. ^ Karnam Malleswari. sports-reference.com
  12. ^ "Karnam Malleswari Birthday: Let's recall this first Indian Olympic Medal winner once again". The Hans India.