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Thailand’s Sukcharoen takes title again at IWF World Championships

By Brian Oliver

Women 45kg Total Podium @IWF

Thanyathon SUKCHAROEN (THA) won the opening medal event at the 2022 IWF World Championships in Bogotá, Colombia, the first qualifying competition for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

It was her second successive world title at the minimum body weight, 45kg. Sukcharoen, 25, made 82-100-182, her best since 2018 and 10kg more than her winning total last year.

After five good lifts she failed with her final attempt at 103kg but had already secured the gold medal on total, 2kg ahead of her team-mate Sirivimon PRAMONGKHOL (THA).

Pramongkhol made all six lifts for 78-102-180 and claimed the clean and jerk gold medal as well as silvers in snatch and total.

In 13 competitions in international weightlifting since she began as a 15-year-old, Sukcharoen has never once finished off the podium, although she forfeited a gold medal at the 2018 IWF World Championships because of a doping violation.

Thailand will have hopes of a third medal on Tuesday when Seerapong SILACHAI competes in the men’s 55kg, in which he has the joint highest entry total.

Manuela BERRIO (COL), who finished second behind Sukcharoen at last year’s IWF World Championships, was a popular bronze medallist on snatch, clean and jerk and total as she was cheered on every lift by a noisy audience at the Gran Carpa Américas Corferias.

It was a good start for Colombia, which is hosting a World Championships for the first time and is fielding a maximum team of 20.

Before the lifting started all of Colombia’s Olympic medallists in weightlifting were honoured at a presentation during the opening ceremony.

Among them was Colombia’s sports minister Maria Isabel Urrutia, who gave a welcoming speech. Urrutia became her country’s first Olympic champion in any sport, and its first weightlifting medallist, when she won at 75kg in Sydney 2000.

Berrio, who screamed as loud as anybody in the crowd after each successful lift. She made five of them to finish on 77-93-170, the same total she made when she finished second last year.

Her mother Leddy Andrea Zuluaga is her coach, and also coaches Lesman Paredes, the 96kg snatch world record holder who now competes for Bahrain.