Karnam Malleswari was born June 1, 1975, Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh. Malleswari younger sister Krishna Kumari is also a national level weightlifter. Karnam Malleswari did her schooling from ZPPG High School in Amadalavalasa. Malleswari father was a constable in the Railway Protection Force. Karnam Malleswari is an Indian Weightlifter. First time Malleswari participated in the ‘National Junior weight lifting championship and stood First in 1992. Karnam Malleswari paraticipated in the Asian champion ship which took place in Thailand and stood second and won three silver medals. Malleswari is famous for being the first Indian woman who won an Olympic medal for India. In the Sydney Olympics 2000, Malleshwari won the bronze medal in the 69kg class.
Malleswari is a recipient of the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, India’s highest sporting honour for the year 1995-1996. Malleswari is also a recipient of the civilian honour Padma Shri in 1999. Malleswari is awarded the Arjuna Award in 1994, India’s highest award in sports. In 1995, Malleswari won the world weightlifting title in her class 54 kg with a new record, by lifting 113.0 kg in the clean and jerk. Malleswari, who went on to win the contest’s gold medal, beat the previous record of 112.5 kg set by China’s Long Yuling in December 1993. She also won the 1995 Asian championship.
Malleswari broke her own records in the Senior National Weightlifting Championship in 1997, and India’s first medal, weightlifting silver, in the 1998 Asian Games. Malleswari was married in 1997 and took a break from competitive weightlifting, to return in 1998 for the Bangkok Asian Games. However, she struggled with her weight thereafter, and was unable to win a medal at the 1999 Athens World Weightlifting championships.There was contention over the choice of weightlifters for India’s Olympic team. With three contestants and two spots, there was criticism when Kunjarani Devi was left out. However, Malleswari’s bronze validates her selection.
Some of the achievements of Malleshwari are as follows:
- Silver medal in the 63 kg class clean-and-jerk Asian Games in 1998.
- Silver medal in the 54 kg class, clean-and-jerk Asian Games in 1997.
- Gold medal Asian Championships, Japan in 1996.
- Gold medal World Championsips, China in 1995.
- Three gold medals in 54 kg, clean-and-jerk Asian Championships, S. Korea in 1995.
- Two gold medals and one silver World Championships, Istanbul in 1994.
- Three gold medals Asian Championships, Korea, in 1994.
- She created 3 records in the 63 kg class Commonwealth women’s records, in1999.
- She won the National Championship in 52 kg body weight from in 90-91.
- She won the National Championship in 54 kg body weight from in 92-98.
- Arjuna Award in the year 1994-95.
- Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in the year 1995-96.
- Padma Shri in the year 1999.