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Robles wins first US lifting medal in 16 years

Monday, 15 August 2016

USA's Sarah Elizabeth Robles competes during the Women's weightlifting +75kg event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games
USA’s Sarah Elizabeth Robles competes during the Women’s weightlifting +75kg event at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games

Sarah Robles, who spent a two-year doping ban working odd jobs in American department stores including Macy’s, won the United States’ first Olympic weightlifting medal in 16 years.

Robles claimed bronze in the women’s +75kg, behind Chinese goldRobles wins first US lifting medal in 16 years medallist Meng Suping, just over a year after returning to competitive action following her suspension for taking anabolic steroids.

The 28-year-old lifted a combined total of 286kg to become the first American since the Sydney 2000 Games to step on the weightlifting podium as North Korea’s Kim Kuk-Hyang took silver.

Robles faced opposition from other American weightlifters who have opposed her inclusion in US weightlifting teams since she returned from her ban in August 2015.

“There’s been opposition here and there. I knew going into the squad that I was going to have to be like teflon,” she told reporters afterwards.

“Sometimes you read negative comments about yourself that aren’t nice but I know what I’m about and I know work hard and I know that I’m a good an honest person.

“I knew that as soon as I was eligible to compete again I would have to hit the ground running,” Robles added.

Asked what she did during her ban she answered: “I got a job like a grown up.

“I was basically training and working three jobs. I worked as a receiving person at Home Depot, I worked as a sign changer at Macy’s, I was a receptionist at a veterinary hospital.

“I was doing a lot of little things all over the place,” explained Robles, who now receives funding and trains full-time as a weightlifter.

Robles snatched 126 and lifted 160 in the clean and jerk. Tara Nott and Cheryl Haworth won America’s last Olympic weightlifting medals.

“I’m so glad to be included in this select few,” said Robles.

Meng, who only got called up to the Chinese team at the last minute, lifted a combined total of 307kg, to finish just 1kg ahead of North Korean Kim.

The 27-year-old Meng’s first-place finish was China’s fifth weightlifting gold medal of Rio 2016 and they are set to top the medals table for the fifth year running.

“I did my duty for my country and for my team,” said Meng.

She lifted 130kg in the snatch and 177kg with her final clean and jerk to push a devastated Kim into second place.

“I was sad that I couldn’t make gold said,” said a tearful Kim who refused to answer more than one question.

The North Korean served a doping ban from November 2012 to November 2014.

Source by: AFP

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