News and Media


Havana, Day 2: Mother-of-three Piron wins B Group gold to boost chances of fourth Olympic Games

Beatriz Piron let out a scream of joy from the spectators’ seats when she won gold on day two of the IWF Grand Prix in Havana.

The mother of three from the Dominican Republic had lifted in the B Group the day before – by chance rather than by strategy – and when the American Hayley Reichardt failed with her final two attempts Piron was left in first place in the women’s 49kg.

Reichardt finished second and Piron’s team-mate Dahiana Ortiz, who was sitting alongside her because she had also lifted in the B Group, was third.

“It was very exciting because we didn’t know if we would win medals,” said Piron.

Beatriz Piron (DOM)

Her 86-105-191 takes Piron up to 8th place in the Paris 2024 rankings and on course for a fourth Olympic Games appearance.

“Nobody from my country has ever been to four Olympic Games and I can be the first, the record-breaker,” said Piron, 28, who placed ninth, fourth and eighth at London 2012, where she had just turned 17, Rio 2016 and the delayed Tokyo 2020 Games.

“I am confident I can do it, I feel physically and mentally well prepared to qualify.”

Qualifying for Paris would be a remarkable achievement for Piron, who has three young sons and who is already thinking about her next competition, the Central American and Caribbean Games starting in two weeks.

That will be a priority because Dominican Republic is the host nation.

Beatriz Piron (DOM)

It was not a strategy to lift in the B Group here, Piron explained. It happened because another coach, who did not travel with the team to Cuba, had made the entry totals based on a recent performance rather than her training numbers.

“It all worked out well,” she said.

Piron is from a weightlifting family. She has a sister and a brother who lift internationally, and her inspiration when she took up the sport aged 12 was her aunt, the Pan American Games medallist Guillermina Candelario.

She was also grateful for the support of her mother and her coaches Hector Dominguez, Javier Dominguez and Moreno Martinez.

Reichardt made only two good lifts in her 83-107-190, which was 7kg down on her best qualifying total, and Ortiz made 83-105-188.

Dahiana Ortiz (DOM)

Piron and Ortiz took snatch gold and silver ahead of Andrea De La Herran from Mexico, who was sixth on total. Reichardt, 24, won clean and jerk gold on 107kg ahead of Ortiz and Piron.

In the women’s 45kg Rosielis Quintana from Venezuela made 68-91-159 to finish well ahead of her only rival, the Cuban teenager Thaila Castillo, who made 60-75-135.

PRK, whose 49kg lifter Ri Song Gum had posted an entry total of 201kg in the final entries last month, has made contact with the IWF by email and confirmed, without any explanation, that it will not compete in Cuba.

As a result of its withdrawal PRK, which had entered 14 athletes for the IWF Grand Prix, cannot qualify for Paris 2024 as they will be unable to compete in enough qualifying competitions.

By Brian Oliver, Inside the Games