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Manipur lauds Kumjarani's golden lift

Written by: Staff
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Imphal, Mar 17 (UNI) People here can't stop raving about Kunjarani Devi's gold medal winning lift at the Commonwealth Games and recall the local hockey and football team member's journey of becoming a star weightlifter, who has managed to remain clear of the doping scandals which engulfed the sport in the recent past.

Many organisations heaped laurels on Kunjarani and said the athelete had been been bringing laurels for the nation and Manipur since1985.

Manipur weighlifting officials said born on March 1, 1966 to N Rabei and Ibetombi of Kairang Mamang Leikai, Imphal East, she won the gold medal in the National Games in weightlifting in 1985 and showed her talent in hockey and football prior to taking up weightlifting.

From 1985 onwards there was no stopping Kunjarani in the international and national arena and she was conferred an Arjuna Award in 1991.

Interestingly she had been a team member of the Manipur's hockey and football squad and was also an outstanding footballer of the country. Weightlifting officials said she started under the care of two coaches, N Kunajkeshore and A Rajen here and was in the spotlight after winning the National Games.

Apart from being the first player to get a medal in the Commonwealth she was also country's first player to win a medal in the 1990 Asian Games held at Beijing. For her contribution to sports movement the state government appointed her as physical education teacher in 1988. She later joined the CRPF.

Various sports organisations expressed hope that she will continue her winning streak and break India's Olympic gold jinx by winning a gold in the next Olympics to be held in Beijing as women's weightlifting has been recognised as an Olympic event.

UNI NS BA PM KN1435

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