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Kazakh weightlifters dominate World Championships
On Nov. 29, closing ceremonies for the World Weightlifting Championships were held in Goyang, South Korea. Kazakhstan’s team swept the awards, winning four gold medals and a bronze.
ASTANA — On Nov. 29, closing ceremonies for the World Weightlifting Championships were held in Goyang, South Korea. Team Kazakhstan swept the awards, winning four gold medals and one bronze. This marked the first time in the history of Kazakh sport that a team returned from a world championship with four gold medals, not to mention setting new world records.
In team standings, Kazakhstan came in second place after China. The women's team, however, with three gold medals, surpassed their traditionally stronger Chinese rivals.
The Kazakh team sent to Goyang could have been considered second-string, as Beijing Olympians Ilya Ilyin, Mariya Grabovetskaya, Irina Nekrasova and Alla Vazhenina all were unable to participate in the championships for various reasons. Undaunted, Kazakh team head coach Aleksey Ni announced that he had a few surprises up his sleeve for the event.
On Nov. 22, 16-year-old Zulfiya Chinshanlo, a Chinese-born Kazakh citizen competing in the 53kg weight category, became world champion, by equalling the 129kg world record for clean and jerk set in 2007 by Chinese athlete Li Pin.
"Lifting her heavy bar-bell, this young girl boosted all Kazakh weightlifting. I think her achievement will enter the annals of sport in Kazakhstan, if not the whole world," said Kazakhstan Weightlifting Federation’s general secretary, Mendykhan Tapsir.
On Nov. 25, another Kazakh citizen born in China, Maya Maneza, also landed a gold medal for the team. Competing in the 63kg weight category, Maya went toe-to-toe with her nemesis, Russia's Svetlana Tsarukayeva, when each lifted 246kg. The Kazakh athlete, however, weighed 300g less than Tsarukayeva, which settled the question in favour of Maneza.
In the men’s team, Kazakhstan's Vladimir Kuznetsov, competing in the 85kg weight category on Nov. 26, lifted a total of 376kg in the double event, which earned him a bronze medal. With a total of 402kg in his double event on Nov. 27, Vladimir Sedov pulled 15kg ahead of his nearest rivals in the 94kg weight category to win the gold.
Meanwhile, Svetlana Podobedova, formerly of Russia and competing in the 75kg weight category, won Team Kazakhstan its fourth gold medal, setting new world records in the snatch (132kg) and the clean and jerk (160kg) and consequently in her totals for the double event.
[IWF.net, KT.kz, Sports.kz, Khabar.kz]