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Weightlifting at the 2012 London Summer Games:

Women's Heavyweight

Weightlifting at the 2012 Summer Games: Previous Summer Games


Host City: London, Great Britain
Venue(s): ExCeL, Newham, London
Date Started: August 3, 2012
Date Finished: August 3, 2012
Format: Total of best lifts in snatch and clean & jerk determined placement. Ties broken by lightest bodyweight.

Gold: KAZ Svetlana Podobedova
Silver: RUS Nataliya Zabolotnaya
Bronze: BLR Irina Kulesha


There was no easy way to pick a favorite in the women’s heavyweight division of the weightlifting tournament at the 2012 Summer Olympics, which had three strong competitors vying for the crown. Nadezhda Yevstyukhina of Russia, holding the world record in the clean and jerk, was probably the most prominent among them, having won bronze at the 2008 Games and the 2007 and 2010 World Championships, silver at the 2006 World Championships and 2010 European Championships, and gold at the 2011 World and European Championships. Her compatriot Nataliya Zabolotnaya held the world record in the snatch and total points and had silver medals from the 2004 Olympics, the 2005, 2007, and 2010 World Championships, and the 2011 European Championships, along with five European titles (2003, 2006, 2008-2010). Finally there was Svetlana Podobedova of Kazakhstan, formerly of Russia, who had World Championship bronze from 2005, silver from 2011, and gold from 2004, 2005, 2009, and 2010 in addition to the 2010 Asian Games title.

After Yevstyukhina failed three times to snatch 125 kg, the remainder of the event became a ferocious exchange between Podobedova and Zabolotnaya that resulted in eight Olympic records being set of the course of competition. The Kazakh beat the old Olympic record in the snatch by 2 kilograms with a 130 kg lift, but was immediately overtaken by Zabolotnaya, who lifted 131 kg. No other competitor came close to this weight; Irina Kulesha of Belarus, who had a long history of finishing fourth that included the 2008 Olympics and the most recent two World Championships, was third with 121 kg. In the next phase, Zabolotnaya lifted 155 kg to set an Olympic record in the clean and jerk and total points, but Podobedova responded by lifting 156 kg. Zabolotnaya again reset both records, this time with a 160 kg lift, but Podobedova bested her again with a 161 kg lift. Their scores tied at the end, the Kazakh became Olympic champion by 0.22 kilograms, the difference in their weight in a tie-breaker where the lightest competitor would win. Kulesha finished in a distant third place, twenty-two kg behind the front runners, but finally on the podium.

Final Standings

Rank Athlete Age Team NOC Medal K
1 Svetlana Podobedova 26 Kazakhstan KAZ Gold 291
2 Nataliya Zabolotnaya 26 Russia RUS Silver 291
3 Irina Kulesha 26 Belarus BLR Bronze 269
4 Lidia Valentín 27 Spain ESP 265
5 Abir Abdulrahman 20 Egypt EGY 258
6 Madias Nzesso 20 Cameroon CMR 246
7 Ewa Mizdal 25 Poland POL 231
8 Jaqueline Ferreira 25 Brazil BRA 230
9 María Valdés 20 Chile CHI 223
10 Im Ji-Hye 26 South Korea KOR 223
11 Thuraia Sobh 26 Syria SYR 201
12 Khadija Mohammad 17 United Arab Emirates UAE 113
AC Nadezhda Yevstyukhina 24 Russia RUS DNF