Karnam Malleswari

Karnam Malleswari

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Category: Sports & Games

Karnam Malleswari Profile

  • Name:
  • Karnam Malleswari
  • Born:
  • June 1, 1975
  • Awards:
  • Arjuna Award  (1994)

    Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna (1995-1996)

    Padma Shri (1999)

Karnam Malleswari Biography

Karnam Malleswari is a retired weightlifter who won several medals for India in international games. She is also the first and only Indian woman weightlifter to win an Olympic medal, and also the first Indian women to won an Olympics medal in any event. She earned this recognition in year 2000 Sydney Olympics and won a bronze medal to team India. She bagged a bronze medal by lifting 110 kg in the “snatch” and 130 kg in the “clean and jerk” for a total of 240 kg. She is also a recipient of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 1995 and Padma Shri in 1999. In her international career, she has won 11 gold medals, 3 silver medals and 1 Olympics gold winner. She remained National champion for 9 consecutive years in 52 kg category and 54 kg category 7 times.


She was born on 1 June 1975 in Amadalavalasa, Srikakulam of Andhra Pradesh. Voosavanipeta is her native village. She along with her 4 sisters was trained in weightlifting since young. Malleswari began her professional career at the age of 12. She received training from Neelamshetty Appanna. She was spotted by the Sports Authority of India after she moved to Delhi in the late 1980s. She joined national camp in the year 1990. She won world championship held at Turkey in the 54-kg class in the year 1994 and rose to prominence in the field. Initially she won a silver medal. But her second position was converted to first soon after the gold medal winner Wang Shen of China got disqualified for using drugs.


In Asian championship held at Korea, she set a new world record in 54 class category by lifting 113 kg. In 1997, she married a fellow weightlifter Rajesh Tyagi. Yet she was fully active in her professional career. A child was born to them in the year 2001. Before that she wrote new history in the history books of Indian sports by winning a bronze medal in 2000 Olympics. She is the first Indian woman to win an Olympics medal, and gave inspiration to many Indian sportswomen to follow her footsteps. She attempted in 2004 Olympics but couldn’t succeed and very soon retired from her professional career.

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Updated: October 01, 2017

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