Became the National Champion in 1990 and 1991 with 52 kg body weight
Held the National Champion title for 54 kg body weight from 1992 to 1998
Earned two gold medals and one bronze medal at the World Weightlifting Championship of 1994, held in Istanbul. The same year, she was honoured with the prestigious Arjuna Award by the Government of India for her sporting spirit.
Became the World Champion of weightlifting in 1995. The same year, she bagged three gold medals in 54 kg clean and jerk events of the Asian Championship
Bagged a gold medal at the Asian Championship of 1996, held in Japan
Won silver medals at the Asian Games of 1994 and 1998 in clean and jerk events of 54 kg and 63 kg category, respectively
Felicitated with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 1995
Received the civilian award Padma Shri by the Government of India in 1999
Became India's first female weightlifter in 2000 to bring an Olympic medal (bronze)
Photo Credits: theweek.in
There were times when weightlifting was considered as a man's play in India, but the illusion was shattered by an Andhra girl in 2000 when she bagged India's first Olympic medal in women's weightlifting and scripted history. Yes, we are talking about Karnam Malleswari; who although has bidden a bye to the sport, yet her phenomenal journey as a weightlifter will always be chanted as an inspirational anecdote. It was her, who denied to carry on all the crappy cerebration of the society and decided to train in weightlifting and that too at the age of 12 and rest is a legend in itself. Although Karnam's sports career is now at rest and she is devoting her time to her family and other jobs, yet the scintilla that she has ignited will always strengthen the knit and grit of girls not only in India but all over the world.
Photo Credits: sportwiseindia
Karnam was born in Voosavanipeta, a small village of Andhra Pradesh and groomed up with four siblings. She started her training under the guidance of Neelamshetty Appanna at the age of twelve. When other girls were learning to tie up their plaits properly, Karnam was trying to lift heavy barbells, strengthening her biceps. Karnam along with her sister Krishna Kumari switched to Delhi for better opportunities for her passion where her grit was spotted by the SportsAuthorityofIndia that paved her way to join the national camp in 1990. After three years, Karnam won a bronze medal at the WorldChampionship and post a year in 1994, became the World Champion, the feat she replicated the next year. Besides this, Karnam also bagged medals at various international stages with her power-pack performance including the WorldChampionships, AsianGames and other national and statechampionships. In 2000, Karnam qualified for the biggest stage of sports-Olympics and she eventually scripted her name in the history by crediting the nation its first and onlyOlympicmedal (bronze) in weightlifting.
Photo Credits: schoolgames.kheloindia.gov.in
In 1997, Karnam married to her fellow weightlifter RajeshTyagi. The Government of India honoured her with RajivGandhiKhelRatna award and PadmaShri in 1999. She became the mother of a son in 2001 after which she was supposed to quit sports, but Karnam denied it all and prepared hard for the 2002CommonwealthGames. But this time, destiny was not in her favour, and she had to withdraw her name because of her father's demise. Karnam didn't lose her will to perform and participated at the 2004OlympicGames but failed to score and bid farewell to the world of sports. At present, Karnam is happily serving the FoodCorporationofIndia as the ChiefGeneralManager (GeneralAdministration). Although it has been many years of retirement yet, Karnam has the same will and passion for encouraging sports in the nation and wants girls to perform beyond expectations. India is really proud to have her who never failed to uplift the stature of the country through her gifted talents in weightlifting and donned the colours of victory with all her sincere efforts.