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Lima, Day 3: Casadevall wins Argentina’s first ever world title – and senior Oceania champion Femily takes another medal

Argentina had its first weightlifting world champion when Paz Casadevall made all six lifts in the women’s 59kg at the World Youth Championships in Lima.

Among other highlights on a busy day, Femily Notte from Nauru just failed to win in her own age group after taking the Oceania 64kg senior title as a 14-year-old in February, and a successful 11kg jump on the last attempt gave Uzbekistan victory in the men’s 81kg.  

Casadevall was cheered throughout the medal ceremony by a small but noisy group of supporters. “I have been preparing for this competition since January and being champion was the goal, but I still can’t believe it,” said the 16-year-old.

Paz Casadevall (ARG)

Her older sister Luz, 23, was well placed to qualify for the Tokyo Olympic Games when her hopes were ruined by a positive Covid test, said Gustavo Malgor, proud president of the Argentina Weightlifting Federation who is officiating in Lima.

“I compete against her, but I haven’t beaten her yet,” said Paz. That is one target, another is the Junior Pan American Games in Paraguay next year.

“This is fantastic,” said Malgor.  “Paz is the best weightlifter in Argentina.

“We have worked very, very hard for 12 years, bringing in a new generation of athletes, coaches and officials. This is the result of all that hard work.”

Paz and Luz are coached in their home town of San Jorge, in Santa Fe province, by Roman Gorosito, who was as proud as Malgor of Paz’s achievement.

Casadevall made all six lifts in her 86-106-192. Alina Daderko was second for Ukraine on 84-100-184 and Marjona Abdumutalova from Uzbekistan was third on 82-100-182.

Notte, now 15 and the youngest athlete in the 64kg field, put up another good performance.

Claudia Chirinos (VEN)

Claudia Chirinos from Venezuela was behind until she made her final lift, to the delight of her noisy team-mates in the audience. When Chirinos finished 89-113-202, Notte had to make 114kg on her last attempt for victory. She cleaned it but just failed with the jerk, finishing second on 90-111-201. Tugbanur Koz from Turkey was third on 88-105-193.

“I was a runner first, and I became a weightlifter when my mum tricked me when I was nine,” said Notte. “She said why don’t you come and watch some weightlifting, and when we got there I found out I was training, not watching.

“I love it, competing and training. I didn’t expect to win in Auckland, I just wanted to have some fun. Today I did think I would win a medal.”

Nauru’s coach Quincy Detenamo was around in the 1990s when Nauru was a force in weightlifting, thanks to the exploits of Marcus Stephen who won seven Commonwealth Games golds and a World Championships silver. Stephen was so popular he later became President of the country.

“A lot of kids lost interest when Paul Coffa (Stephen’s coach, Nauru’s national coach and head of the Oceania Weightlifting Institute) left the island,” said Detenamo. “Marcus wasn’t involved for a while either. Now Marcus is back at the federation and things have improved, kids are showing interest again.”

Bedabrat Bharali (IND)

India had its second winner of the week when Bedabrat Bharali finished 12kg clear in the men’s 73kg. His team have won two golds, two silvers and a bronze on total in the first three days, and Preetismita Bhoi set a clean and jerk youth world in the women’s 40kg.

Bahrali made 136-160-296, up 29kg on his total last year when he was third at 67kg. The 67kg champion then, Seryozha Barseghyan from Armenia, had to withdraw injured today after making his first snatch.

Ryan McDonald from the United States was second on 125-159-284 and Serhii Kotelevskyi from Ukraine third on 130-153-283.

McDonald, 17, was seventh at 61kg in 2022 and eighth at 67kg last year. He is schooled at home in Lancaster, Pennsylvania and is keen on physics. But he is much keener on being a full-time weightlifter.

“I’ve been doing it for eight years and I want to be a full-time member of Team USA,” he said.

Ruslan Rakhmatjonov from Uzbekistan made a sensational international debut when he won at 81kg.  

Ruslan Rakhmatjonov (UZB)

Moustafa Bakry from Egypt was 5kg ahead of Rakhmatjonov at halfway and looked sure of victory when he finished 144-166-310, despite failing with an appeal when his final attempt at 170kg was ruled a no-lift.

Rakhmatjonov, 16, had missed his second clean and jerk and needed to go up 11kg to 172kg to win. He made it, finishing 139-172-311.

Dawid Lisiak from Poland made all six lifts in third place, overtaking India’s snatch bronze medallist Sairaj Pardeshi with his final attempt. Lisiak made 135-166-301.

By Brian Oliver

Photos by Bob Willingham