She is the first Indian woman to win an Olympic medal on September 19, 2000 when she picked up the bronze medal in the 69-kg category. She lifted a total of a 240-kg and made a bold bid for silver by attempting a clean jerk of 137.5 kg, 7.5 kg heavier than her previous successful lift.

She cleared the weight to her shoulders but could no hoist it overhead. With this feat, Malleswari also became the third Indian since independence to win an individual Olympic medal after – Kashaba Jadhav and Leander Paes.

This Olympic medal was just a part of her success story. Before this, she set a new world record by winning three golds in 54 kg category in World Weightiifting Championship at Guangzhou (China) on November 19, 1995. She was awarded Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna for 1994-95.