Karnam Malleswari

Karnam Malleswari (born 1 June 1975) is a retired Indian weightlifter. She is the first Indian woman to win a medal at the Olympics in 2000. In 1994, she received the Arjuna Award and in 1999, she received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, India's highest sporting honour, and the civilian Padma Shri award.

Karnam Malleswari
Karanam malleshwari.png
Personal information
Full nameKarnam Malleswari
Born (1975-06-01) 1 June 1975 (age 47)
Voosavanipeta, Srikakulam district, Andhra Pradesh, India
Height163 cm (5 ft 4 in)
Coached byLeonid Taranenko[1]


Malleswari won the world title in the 54 kg division in 1994 and 1995 and placed third in 1993 and 1996.

In 1994, she won silver at the World Championships in Istanbul and in 1995 she won the Asian Weightlifting Championships in Korea in the 54 kg category. That year, she won the title in China with a record lift of 113 kg at the World Championships. Even before her Olympic win, Malleswari was a two-time weightlifting world champion with 29 international medals, which includes 11 gold medals.[2]

Along with the national and international medals, Malleswari was also awarded with Arjuna Award in 1994, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 1999, and Padma Shri in 1999.[3][better source needed][4]

At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Malleswari lifted 110 kg in the "snatch" and 130 kg in the "clean and jerk" categories for a total of 240 kg. She won the bronze medal and became the first Indian woman to win an Olympic medal.[5] She is also the first Indian weightlifter, male or female, to win an Olympic medal.[6] Her medal was the only medal that India secured in the 2000 Olympics.[5]

Personal lifeEdit

Malleswari was born in a Karnam family in Voosavanipeta near Amadalavalasa, a hamlet in Andhra Pradesh.[7] She has four sisters and all are married and well settled in life.[citation needed]

Malleshwari started her career when she was 12 and was trained under coach Neelamshetty Appanna.[8] Her sister was married and living in Delhi, and Malleshwari moved to that city for better training when it became clear that she had the potential to become a great athlete. Her talent was soon spotted by the Sports Authority of India. In 1990, Malleshwari joined the national camp and four years later, she became the weight-lifting world championship winner in the 54-kg class.[9]

In 1997, Malleshwari married fellow weightlifter Rajesh Tyagi. In 2001, one year after winning the Olympic bronze medal in her sport, she became a mother with the birth of a son. She planned to return to competitions at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, but withdrew due to her father's death. She retired after failing to score at the 2004 Olympics.[1][10][11] Karnam Malleshwari and Tyagi currently lives in Yamunanagar, Haryana, with their son and in-laws in a joint family.[citation needed] She works at the Food Corporation of India as Chief General Manager (General Administration).[citation needed]

In June 2021, she was appointed as the vice-chancellor of Sports University, established by the government of Delhi.[12]


She is honoured with Arjuna award in 1994 .


  1. ^ a b Malleswari lifts Indian Olympic hopes – ‘I’m enjoying my preparation for a second medal... I’m very hopeful’. The Telegraph (8 July 2004)
  2. ^ BISWAS, SOUTIK (2 October 2000). "Bronze Woman". outlookindia. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  3. ^ "Karnam Malleswari made first Vice-Chancellor of Delhi Sports University". The New Indian Express. 23 June 2021. Retrieved 13 August 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. ^ "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 October 2015. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
  5. ^ a b Ganguly, Meenakshi (27 December 2000) Conversations: 'I Did What I Could For My Country'. Time
  6. ^ "Tokyo Olympics: Karnam Malleswari reacts to Mirabai Chanu's silver". Hindustan Times. 24 July 2021. Retrieved 13 August 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. ^ "Karnam Malleswari: The woman who lifted a nation". The Hindu. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  8. ^ "Karnam Malleswari: The woman who lifted a nation". The Hindu. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  9. ^ "Bronze Woman". outlookindia. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  10. ^ Evans, Hilary; Gjerde, Arild; Heijmans, Jeroen; Mallon, Bill; et al. "Karnam Malleswari". Olympics at Sports-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on 18 April 2020.
  11. ^ "Karnam Malleswari Birthday: Let's recall this first Indian Olympic Medal winner once again". The Hans India.
  12. ^ P., Sujatha Varma (24 June 2021). "Andhra Pradesh Governor congratulates Karnam Malleswari". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 12 August 2021.

External linksEdit