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Yerevan, Day 5: Fourth European title for Toma and Italy’s Reyes wins first gold

World champion Loredana Toma added another continental title to her long list of achievements today with an easy win at the European Weightlifting Championships here in Armenia.

Giulia Miserendino was 10kg back in second place, and her team-mate Oscar Reyes made it a great day for Italy by winning the men’s 81kg later in the day.

Toma did not have to match her efforts in the first Olympic qualifier last December, the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Championships in Colombia, where she set a snatch world record and totalled 256kg.

This time four good lifts and 110-130-240 was enough, giving Toma her fourth continental title to add to two silver medals in the past 10 years.

Miserendino made 105-125-230 and Sarah Davies was Britain’s second medallist in two days after Zoe Smith finished third at 64kg yesterday.

Davies, who took silver in clean and jerk and bronze on total with 100-126-225, improved on her World Championships effort by 3kg but might have moved up to second place.

A controversial “no lift” decision on her second clean and jerk was eventually upheld by the jury, after a lengthy deliberation, when Britain’s coaches made a challenge.

“When I went out for the third lift I was powered by rage, I wasn’t thinking much other than ‘I’ll show you,’ that’s the polite way of putting it,” Davies said.

“I’d like to see the replay and see what they (referees and jury) saw.

“You can throw a lift down and celebrate when you know it’s a bit dodgy but there was nothing wrong with that lift.”

Britain’s coaches agreed, but the jury finally decided there had been a press-out.

“I’m disappointed, but we got there,” Davies said.

“I was in much better shape than the board shows but to have another total in the Olympic rankings… I can’t really complain.”

Her next outing will be at the IWF World Championships in Saudi Arabia in September.

There were good performances by the Israeli-American Celia Gold and Eyglo Sturludottir from Iceland, who finished fifth and sixth behind Germany’s Lisa Marie Schweizer, the snatch bronze medallist.

Both have to fit in their weightlifting training with full-time work or studies but both made personal bests in international competition.

Gold, who works for Google, made 99-123-222 and failed only with her final attempt for a medal, while 22-year-old medical student Sturludottir posted 96-121-217.

Gold, who won a Pan American junior title for the United States, switched to Israel and made a lower total at 76kg in the IWF World Championships.

Sturludottir is two years into a six-year medical degree course and will have to study another few years after that when she chooses a specialism as a doctor.

“It’s school and gym every day,” she said.

“I have a boyfriend but he doesn’t get much attention! He’s a bodybuilder and physio who stopped lifting weights when I started lifting more than him.”

Although her daily schedule is full, Sturludottir says it would be “too much” to go full-time in weightlifting.

“It’s good to have school to get away from weightlifting, and weightlifting to get away from school.”

Reyes claimed a fifth medal of the Championships for Italy, on total, with two more chances of gold to come from Antonino Pizzolato at 89kg and Cristiano Ficco at 96kg in the next two days.

Reyes, 26, who moved from Cuba and is now an Italian citizen, was able to decline his last two attempts because none of the other contenders could catch him after he made his first clean and jerk at 188kg.

He finished 155-188-343, ahead of Batuhan Yuksel of Turkey on 152-187-339.

Armenia’s Rafik Harutyunyan was cheered on by a large crowd but missed three lifts in making 150-187-337 for third place.

Hmayak Misakyan, of Armenian descent and lifting for Austria, also had plenty of support and took bronze in the snatch.

For the second day in a row an Albanian failed to make a total, maintaining the team’s dreadful record.

On Tuesday Briken Calja completed a hat-trick of bombouts in the 73kg, and today Daniel Godelli took his stats to seven bombouts in his past 11 competitions on the IWF database.

By Brian Oliver, Inside the Games

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