||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2009)|
|Full name||Karnam Malleswari|
June 1, 1975 |
Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh
|Competitor for India|
|Bronze||2000 Sydney||– 69 kg|
|Silver||1998 Bangkok||– 63 kg|
Karnam Malleswari (born June 1, 1975, Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh) is an Indian weightlifter.1 During her career, spanning ten years, she has won 11 gold and three silver medals besides the prestigious Olympic bronze. She has been the National Champion for nine years (twice in the 52 kg category and seven times in the 54 kg category).
Malleshwari participated in the 'National Junior weight lifting championship', and stood first. In 1992, she participated in the Asian championship which took place in Thailand, and won three silver medals. She also won three bronze medals in the world championship. She won a bronze medal in the 2000 Summer Olympics at Sydney lifting 110 kg in the Snatch and 130 kg in the Clean and Jerk for a total of 240 kg, which made her the first Indian woman to win an Olympic medal.2 She is a recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, India's highest sporting honour for the year 1995-1996. She is also a recipient of the civilian honour Padma Shri in 1999. Malleswari is awarded the Arjuna Award in 1994, India's second highest award in sports.
In 1995, Malleswari won the world weightlifting title in her class (54 kg) with a new record, by lifting 113.0 kg in the clean and jerk. Malleswari, who went on to win the contest's gold medal, beat the previous record of 112.5 kg set by China's Long Yuling in December 1993. She also won the 1995 Asian championship. She broke her own records in the Senior National Weightlifting Championship in 1997, and India's first medal, a weightlifting silver, in the 1998 Asian Games.
Malleswari married in 1997, and moved to Yamuna Nagar, Haryana taking a short break from competitive weight-lifting. She returned to participate in the Bangkok Asian Games in 1998, and won the silver medal. However, she was unable to win a medal at the 1999 Athens World Weight Lifting Championships. There was contention over the choice of weightlifters for India's Olympic team 2000. With three contestants and two spots, there was criticism when Kunjarani Devi was left out. But Malleswari went on to win the bronze medal.
Cdr. Homi D. Motivala and Lt. Cdr. P. K. Garg
|Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna
Leander Paes and Nameirakpam Kunjarani