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Svetlana Podobedova claims Kazakhstan's third weightlifting gold

Updated: Friday, 03 Aug 2012 21:28 | Comments

Svetlana Podobedova competed for Russia until 2006
Svetlana Podobedova competed for Russia until 2006

Svetlana Podobedova won Kazakhstan's third weightlifting gold of the London Olympics after an epic battle with Russia's Natalya Zabolotnaya in a head-to-head so close that the medals were decided by the athletes' bodyweight.

Podobedova's total of 291kg, sealed with the last lift of the competition, put her level with Zabolotnaya but because the Kazakh weighed in with a bodyweight 220 grams lower she was awarded the gold.

The 291kg total was a new Olympic record. The bronze medal went to Belarusian Iryna Kulesha.

Podobedova, 26, competed for Russia until 2006 according to the International Weightlifting Federation website, before re-entering international competition under the Kazakhstan flag in 2009.

Zabolotnaya was only added to the Russian team just over a week ago when her team mate Oxana Slivenko was forced to withdraw for medical reasons.

World champion Nadezda Evstyukhina of Russia made a surprise early exit after she was unable to complete a lift in the snatch section of the competition.

Athletes need to complete both a snatch and a clean and jerk lift to post a total, with the highest combined weight taking the gold.

Adrian Edward Zielinski has won Poland's first weightlifting gold of the London Olympics, edging out Russia's Apti Aukhadov by virtue of his lighter bodyweight after both athletes tied on a total of 385kg.

Iran's Kianoush Rostami won the bronze in the men's 85kg weight category contest.

Two of the athletes expected to challenge for gold, defending Olympic champion Lu Yong of China and Sourab Moradi of Iran, did not post a total weight after failing to complete a lift in both rounds of the event - the clean and jerk, and the snatch.

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