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Karnam Malleshwari Biography

Karnam Malleswari is an eminent Indian weightlifter. She is famous for being the first Indian woman who won an Olympic medal for India. In the Sydney Olympics 2000, Malleshwari won the bronze medal in the 69kg class.

Karnam Malleswari was born on June 1, 1975, in a small village of Andhra Pradesh called Srikakulamn. She practiced weightlifting in her village gymnasium at the tender age of 12. Her younger sister Krishna Kumari is also a national level weightlifter. Karnam Malleswari did her schooling from ZPPG High School in Amadalavalasa. Her father was a constable in the Railway Protection Force.

Malleshwari was trained under a games project of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) for special areas. In 1990, she was included in the national camp and four years later she won the World Championship in the 54kg class. Malleshwari was coached by Leonid Taranenko, a renowned weightlifter, who holds a number of world records. She married a weightlifter named Rajesh Tyagi.

Achievements of Malleshwari:

Some of the achievements of Malleshwari are as follows:

  • Silver medal in the 63 kg class clean-and-jerk (Asian Games,1998).
  • Silver medal in the 54 kg class, clean-and-jerk(Asian Games1997).
  • Gold medal (Asian Championships, Japan1996).
  • Gold medal (World Championsips, China,1995).
  • Three gold medals in 54 kg ,clean-and-jerk( Asian Championships, S. Korea 1995).
  • Two gold medals and one silver (World Championships, Istanbul,1994).
  • Three gold medals (Asian Championships, Korea,1994).
  • She created 3 records in the 63 kg class( Commonwealth women’s records, 1999) .
  • She won the National Championship in 52 kg body weight from 90-91.
  • She won the National Championship in 54 kg body weight from 92-98.

She was felicitated with such honorary awards as:

  • Arjuna Award(1994-95)
  • Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award(1995-96)
  • Padma Shri(1999)

Malleshwari is known as the “iron girl of Andhra Pradesh”.