Pune, Jan. 13 -- Few athletes have inspired generations of sportspersons in a region the way former world weightlifting champion Kunjarani Devi has in Manipur. Since her triple silver-winning effort at the World Championships at Manchester in 1989, women lifters from the North-Eastern state have been at the forefront of India' quest for weightlifting medals in international competitions. At last year's Commonwealth Games too, India's first two gold medallists - Saikhom Mirabai Chanu and Sanjita Chanu Khumukcham - were the proteges of the legendary lifter.

On Saturday, Kunjarani's influence was evident at the Khelo India Youth Games when Manipur's Seram Nirupama Devi hailed the 50-year-old as her inspiration after clinching gold in U-21 wom...