Russia's gold medalist Yelena Lashmanov (centre), Russia's silver medalist Olga Kaniskina (left) and Tibetan bronze medalist Choeyang
DHARAMSHALA, August 12: Choeyang, the first Tibetan to participate in the Olympic games made history with a podium finish in London, Saturday.
Competing in the women’s 20 km race walking event, Choeyang finished third after a world record-breaking effort by lena Lashmanova of Russia, who completed the course in 1 hour 25 minutes and 2 seconds.
Defending Olympic champion and three-time world champion, Olga Kaniskina, also from Russia finished second.
The 22-year-old Tibetan girl showed true grit and stamina of steel to finish 14 seconds behind the new world record.
Choeyang’s performance at the grandest stage of all was also her career best.
The Associated Press quoted Choeyang as saying that she as “extremely” honoured to have represented Tibetans at the games.
"I'm extremely honored to take part as the first representative of the Tibetans at the Olympic Games and to win a medal," Choeyang was quoted as saying.
A native of Tsochang in the traditional Tibetan province of Amdo, Choeyang, was ranked 10th in the world coming into London.
Born on November 11, 1990, the Tibetan walking wonder began race walking in 2008. Two years later, she was selected in the Chinese national team.
During the race, a number of Tibetan national flags could be seen flying along the 2 km course road. A banner reading, “You go girl…We Tibetans are with you,” was also displayed.
Soon after her win, Tibetans were abuzz on social network sites congratulating Choeyang and celebrating her achievements as a Tibetan.
There were also a few disgruntled voices unhappy with Choeyang’s participation as part of the Chinese national team when Tibetans in Tibet are setting themselves on fire protesting China’s rule.