Kazakh Maneza wins women’s -63kg weightlifting
Maiya Maneza secured Kazakhstan’s second gold medal of the London Olympics after patiently biding her time before producing a massive clean and jerk to win the women’s 63kg class on Tuesday.
Maneza, also the reigning Asiad champion, recorded a combined total of 245kg, a new Olympic record, in front of a raucous sell-out crowd at the ExCel arena.
It did not quite match the performance of team-mate Zulfiya Chinshanlo, who set a world record in the clean and jerk as she powered to gold in the women’s -53kg class on Sunday, but was ample reward for the central Asian country’s rise to prominence in women’s weightlifting, so often dominated by China.
Maneza - who was born in Kyrgyzstan and spent her formative years in China before moving to Kazakhstan in 2007 and acquiring Kazakh citizenship - snatched 110kg to go into the clean and jerk in second spot 2kg behind world champion Svetlana Tsarukaeva of Russia.
But any thoughts of the clean and jerk deciding the eventual podium topper were put to bed early after Tsarukaeva paid badly for two botched efforts.
The Russian bailed out with a disappointing best of just 125kg for a total of 237kg.
Maneza, 26, was home dry if she nailed her first clean and jerk and the Kazakh did not disappoint, sending a large number of fans wild after she easily hoisted an Olympic record-equalling 135kg at the first time of asking.
Ever the show-woman, Maneza immediately upped the weight to 144kg, but failed to raise the barbell.
Canada’s Christine Girard went one better than her fourth place in the Beijing Olympics to claim bronze with a total of 236kg (103, 133).