Sat, 04 Aug 2012 13:15:43 GMT | By IANS

Podobedova lifts Kazakhstan to gold

London: Svetlana Podobedova won Olympic gold for Kazakhstan by the narrowest of margins here Friday, edging out Russia's Natalya Zabolotnaya in the women's 75 kg weightlifting by virtue of lighter body weight.


Podobedova lifts Kazakhstan to gold

Podobedova and Zabolotnaya both broke the Olympic record with totals of 291 kg, with the Russian setting down a new Olympic best of 131 kg in the snatch and Podobedova setting a new Olympic record of 161 kg in the clean and jerk.

Podobedova was born in Russia and represented that country until she was stripped of her 2006 world junior title for doping, after which she switched allegiance to Kazakhstan.

"I am grateful I could compete. In 2008 Russia didn't allow me to go to Beijing but Kazhakstan gave me a chance. I started training for this slowly, and this gold is for Kazhakstan," she said.

"I just wished for it so much. I have been working towards this all my life."

Official results show the total Olympic record awarded to Zabolotnaya, who only joined the Russian team last week after Oksana Slivenko withdrew with injury.

Belarusian lifter Iryna Kulesha was a distant third with a total of 269 kg.

Podobedova's victory brings Kazakhstan its fourth gold of the games and third in women's weightlifting, after Zulfiya Chinshanlo won the 53kg category and Maiya Maneza took victory in the 63kg event.