Linthoi Chanambam is an Indian judoka, who became the first Indian to win a gold medal across any age group at the World Cadet Judo Championship held at Arena Hotel Hills in Sarajevo, Bosnia in August 2022. She defeated Bianca Reis of Brazil in the finals of the women’s 57kg category.
Linthoi Chanambam was born on Sunday, 31 December 2006 (age 15 years; as of 2021) in Mayang Imphal, Manipur. Her zodiac sign is Capricorn.
Weight (approx.): 55 kg
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Parents & Siblings
Linthoi’s father’s name is Ibohal, a fish farmer, who also works as a mason. Her mother’s name is Guneshwori, a part-time tailor and homemaker. Linthoi has two sisters.
Initially, Linthoi Chanambam had a great interest in football and boxing, and she started playing football and even tried her hand at boxing. Linthoi started training for judo in 2014. In an interview, Linthoi revealed the reason behind taking Judo and said,
“I took up Judo in my childhood as I believed myself to be a boy and not a girl And, as a kid, I hardly had friends who were girls. Most of them were boys. I always wanted to take up a sport like Judo from a very young age. In fact, I love boxing and football as well. But there were quite a few Judo academies near my home town. That’s what attracted me most about this sport and my family supported me from the very beginning,”
In 2014, she enrolled herself at Mayai Lambi Sports Academy, a local training academy in Imphal. In October 2017, to train in a professional set-up, Linthoi started training at the Inspire Institute of Sport (IIS), a training centre in Bellary, Karnataka, which trains athletes across five Olympic sports- wrestling, boxing, judo, athletics, and swimming, and is led by the JSW Group. In an interview, Linthoi talked about her training institute and said,
They spotted me and recruited me at the age of 11 and since then have taken extreme care of my diet, my training regimen and provided me with all the tools and facilities that I needed to be successful. I will eternally be grateful to JSW and IIS for all that they have done for me and I hope I can keep repaying their faith in me with medals,”
In September 2018, Linthoi participated in the Sub-junior National Judo Championship at Una, Himachal Pradesh. In November 2021, she participated in the National Sub-Junior & Cadet Judo Championship at Chandigarh University in Chandigarh, Punjab. In December 2021, she participated in the Asia Oceania Cadet & Junior Judo Championship in Lebanon, Beirut. In July 2022, she participated in the Asian Cadet and Junior Judo Championship in Bangkok, Thailand, and in August 2022, she took part in the World Cadet Judo Championship held in Sarajevo, Bosnia.
First ever world championship medal for India! 🇮🇳🥇 Gold for Linthoi!
— Judo (@Judo) August 26, 2022
- 2018: Sub-junior National Judo Championship, Una, Himachal Pradesh
- 2021: National Sub-Junior & Cadet Judo Championship, Chandigarh, Punjab
- 2022: Asian Cadet and Junior Judo Championship, Bangkok, Thailand
- 2022: Khelo India Youth Games, Haryana
- 2022: World Cadet Judo Championship, Sarajevo, Bosnia
- 2021: Asia Oceania Cadet & Junior Judo Championship, Lebanon, Beirut
- In 2017, Linthoi was spotted in Telangana by Mamuka Kizilashvili, the head coach of the judo programme at the Inspire Institute of Sport (IIS), Karnataka. Since 2017, she received training from her coach, Mamuka Kizilashvili, who is from Georgia. In an interview, Mamuka talked about Linthoi and said,
I first saw her in Telangana. I was part of the talent identification development programme that unearths talented judokas from all over India. The first time I saw her, I instantly knew that she has something in her to become a world class athlete, although she was very young then.”
- Linthoi’s coach recommended her to the Sports Authority of India (SAI), and they started funding her when she was thirteen years old. In an interview, she appreciated the efforts of the Sports Authority of India (SAI), and said,
“SAI has always helped me and backed me with all my endeavours. I am extremely grateful for the unwavering support of Shri Sandip Pradhan and SAI. They can be attributed to the immense joy I feel for winning this gold medal.”
- In an interview, Linthoi recalled her childhood memory in which she used to beat up boys while growing up at Mayang Imphal in Manipur. She said,
I used to fight with them a lot and ended up injuring some of them as well. My parents had to take them to the hospital, at times,”
- Linthoi considers Majlinda Kelmendi as her inspiration, who is a former judoka and judo coach from Kosovo. In an interview, Linthoi revealed that she aspires to win a gold medal at the Olympics. She said,
“There’s one player, she’s from Kosovo. Majlinda Kelmendi. She’s the first athlete from Kosovo to win a gold medal at the Olympics (2016). So, I want to be the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the Olympics,”
- In March 2020, when the first lockdown was imposed amid COVID-19, Linthoi was stuck in Akhmeta in Georgia. She was unable to return back to India, and she stayed at Mamuka Kizilashvili’s (coach) house in Georgia for about nine months. In an interview, she talked about staying away from her family and said,
It was a difficult time for the whole world, as it was for us too. But coach Kizilashvii’s family made sure that I was always happy, although I was far away from my parents and family,”
- Linthoi is fond of dancing to hip-hop music and gardening.
- In an interview, Linthoi expressed her happiness about winning a gold medal at the World Cadet Judo Championship 2022 and said,
I really don’t have the words and cannot explain how I am feeling right now. I only know that I’m very happy with this victory, and I hope to build on this,”