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Mexican lifter worth her weight in gold

Four years ago Yesica Hernandez Vieyra had never heard of weightlifting. On Monday she proved her precocious talent by taking the 48kg title at the Youth Olympic Games.

Yesica Yadira Hernandez Vieyra MEX lifts for the Gold Medal in the Weightlifting Womens 48kg Category at the Europa Pavilion, Youth Olympic Park. The Youth Olympic Games, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Monday 8th October 2018. Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand for OIS/IOC. Handout image supplied by OIS/IOC

BUENOS AIRES – Mexican lifter Yesica Hernandez Vieyra showed off her talent after only four years of weightlifting by coming from behind to win gold in the women’s 48kg at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games.

“Four years ago I didn’t even know the sport,” 16-year-old Hernandez Vieyra said. “A friend of mine asked me to try it. My coach told me that I have talent in weightlifting and he believed one day I could participate in the Olympic Games.

“My dream was to fight for the gold. I kept training really hard. I didn’t go out with my friends so frequently and made sure that I was focused on my training. Now all the effort, the training, I think are worthwhile.”

The Mexican paid tribute to her mother for her unconditional support. “My mother also didn’t know the sport when I first practised weightlifting, but she just stood by my side the whole time,” she said.

“I really learned a lot from weightlifting. It has played a part in my growth. I like the feeling of lifting barbells and training with my teammates.”

Colombia’s Yineth Santoya Ortiz made a strong start at the Europa Pavilion in the Youth Olympic Park, lifting 76kg in the snatch, 2kg more than the Mexican. But Hernandez Vieyra then lifted 11kg more than her rival in the clean & jerk, to register 171kg overall.

“In the snatch, I didn’t really concentrate. In the clean & jerk, I kept focused and believed I could come back to win the gold,” Hernandez Vieyra said.

Santoya Ortiz was third in the clean & jerk with 86kg and in the end had to settle for silver with 162kg overall. Mihaela Cambei (ROU) took bronze with 158kg.

Lalrinnunga Jeremy IND roars in delight after taking the Gold Medal with a successful lift of 150kg during the Weightlifting Mens 62kg Group A competition in the Europa Pavilion, Youth Olympic Park during The Youth Olympic Games, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Monday 8th October 2018. Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand for OIS/IOC. Handout image supplied by OIS/IOC

Lalrinnunga Jeremy (IND), the Commonwealth youth and junior champion in 2017, battled Turkey’s Caner Toptas lift for lift in the men’s 62kg, as they turned the competition of 14 lifters into a two-horse race in the snatch.

Only 2kg separated the pair going into the clean & jerk, but the Indian lifter proved too strong, securing gold with 150kg in the clean & jerk for a total of 274kg.

“I felt sad after the snatch, but my coach motivated me to fight for good lifts in the clean & jerk. That’s why I (rediscovered) my good form,” said Jeremy, who turns 16 this month.

With 122kg in the snatch and 141kg in the clean and jerk, Toptas took silver, while Estiven Villar Manjarres (COL) won bronze.


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