Svetlana Podobedova wins 75-kilo

Updated: August 3, 2012, 12:53 PM ET
Associated Press

LONDON -- Svetlana Podobedova won Kazakhstan's third weightlifting gold medal of the London Olympics on Friday, beating Russia's Natalya Zabolotnaya in a 75-kilogram showdown decided on the last lift.

A roar erupted in the weightlifting arena as Podobedova cleared 161 kilograms in her final clean and jerk to equal Zabolatnaya's total weight of 291 kilograms. Under the rules, Podobedova won because of a lower body weight.

Her coach broke into a victory dance after the most exhilarating duel of the Olympic weightlifting competition.

The two women exchanged the lead lift by lift after world champion Nadezda Evstyukhina, also of Russia, surprisingly lost with three failed attempts in the snatch.

Zabolotnaya was on top after snatching an Olympic record 131 kilograms, one more than Podobedova. But Podobedova, who changed citizenship to Kazakhstan from Russia, moved into first in the clean and jerk by taking 150 kilograms in her first attempt.

Her Russian rival responded by breaking the Olympic record twice, but it wasn't enough. Zabolotnaya cleared her last lift to the delight of the crowd at London's ExCeL arena.

Iryna Kulesha of Belarus was a distant third with 269 kilograms.

Egypt's Khalil Mahmoud Abir Abdelrahman was injured in her last lift when she fell backward from a squat and the bar struck her chest. She was taken off the platform in a wheelchair.


Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press