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Born on June 1, 1975, Karnam Malleswari became the prefect epitome for women across India by being the first Indian woman to win an Olympics Medal. The event that she participated in is seldom seen as a "conventional" woman's sport. Malleswari's triumph was an acknowledgment to Indian women as she became the first woman in Indian history to win an Olympics medal in weightlifting.Â She won a bronze in the 69kg category, at the Sydney Summer Olympics in 2000, thus revolutionizing how Indian sports personalities with particular regard to women were seen at a global platform. Her achievement commissioned women all across the sub-continent to engage themselves in a rather male dominant sport, thus empowering their position in the male chauvinist society.
The "Iron girl of Andhra Pradesh" began weightlifting at the age of twelve in her village. Her career blossomed fruitfu
lly because of the diligent support of her family, particularly her mother (Shyamala), who vigilantly took care of her diet which is very vital for a weightlifter. Karnam's sister, Krishna Kumari is also a national lifter and often Malleswari was called the sport daughter of India.
Like most distinguished, eminent, illustrious personalities, Karnam's success was accompanied with unnecessary controversies. Since the games required only two positions to be filled, Kunjarani Devi (another eminent weightlifter) was sidelined. The situation went to such an extent that Kunjarani Devi even gave a petition to Minister of Sports Dhindsa, alleging that she had been unfairly overlooked. However Malleswari's victory proved her selection to be extremely prosperous for the entire nation.
Apart from the Olympic Bronze, Karnam has a number of big achievements to her name such as, in1994 she won a Gold Medal in a world championship at Istanbul; in 1995 she won the Asian championship in Korea. Her professional career also includes moments where she set a remarkable world record by winning three gold medals in China in 1995. The government of India has awarded her with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Award, India's highest sporting honour for the year 1995-96. She is also a recipient of the civilian honor Padma Shri in 1999.
AchievementsÂ Â : First Indian woman to win a Medal (bronze) at the Olympics, awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Award, recipient of the Civilian Honor Padma Shri.
Birth DateÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â : June 1, 1975Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Birth PlaceÂ Â Â Â Â Â Â : Andhra Pradesh