Former Indian weighlifter Karnam Malleswari won the IDFC First Bank Lifetime Achievement Award at the Sportstar Aces Awards 2024 held at the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai on Thursday.
“I would like to dedicate this award to my husband. In 1998, I had a back injury for six months after marriage. I thought my career was over. But my husband had a lot of belief in me. He said that I would recover and start performing again. At that time, I was at home, and there was no gym anywhere nearby. If I had ordered a set of barbells from Kolkata, that would have also taken a month to come. He went himself and got a 180-kg barbell set while travelling by train and taxi. I trained in the living area of our 1 BHK house for six months.
I like it when young sportspeople are inspired by my story and performances. I would like to congratulate all those going to the Paris Olympics and wish them best of luck. Bring back lots of medals,” Malleswari said after receiving the award.
Malleswari was the toast of the nation when she took bronze in the weightlifting competition in the Olympics in Sydney. The champion weightlifter, who hailed from the relatively obscure Amudalavalasa town in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh, under the tutelage of N. Appanna, was in a way an inspiration for many, especially for young girls from rural areas, showing them a way to scale the summit in the world of sports.
A two-time World Championship gold medallist in 1994 and 1995, Malleswari also won a bronze in the 1993 edition of the tournament in Melbourne. She bagged two silvers in the 1994 Hiroshima and the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games.
Winning a medal in Sydney in weightlifting, which was introduced only in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, was another feather in her cap after she made an impact with a gold in the 1995 World Championships. And she happens to be one of those very few women athletes who have been conferred with the prestigious Khel Ratna and the Padma Shri.
- First woman to win an Olympic medal for India
- World Championship gold medallist in 1994 and 1995
- Two silver medals in the 1994 Hiroshima and the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games
- Conferred with the prestigious Khel Ratna and Padma Shri
The event is presented by Amul, powered by IDFC First Bank in association with Indian Oil. The associate partners are LIC India, State Bank of India, Greyon Cosmetic, India Cements, United India Insurance, NTPC, Ramaiah University. The realty partner is Casagrand, with online grocery partner Big Basket, colour partner Nippon Paint and education partner Christ University. The co-sponsors are Pratiyogita Darpan, SSVM, PSG, Signpost, Digital OOH Partner, NDTV, Broadcast Partner, WordsWork, PR Partner and Dailyhunt, Online Streaming Partner.
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