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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 August, 2004, 19:03 GMT 20:03 UK
Skakun & Guozheng triumph
Ukranian Nataliya Skakun during her medal ceremony in Athens
Nataliya Skakun of the Ukraine edged out Hanna Batsiushka of Belarus to claim the gold medal in the women's 63kg weightlifting division in Athens.

Skakun and Batsiushka both lifted 242.5kg but if totals are tied competitors are split by body weight which meant Skakum, at 1.28kg lighter, took gold.

Belarussian Tatsiana Stukalava took the bronze medal with a total of 222.5.

In the men's 69kg division China's Zhang Guozheng took gold ahead of South Korea's Lee Bae-Young.

Croatia's Nikolai Peshalov claimed the bronze medal.

Guozheng produced an effortless display of lifting as he combined 160kg in the snatch with 187.5kg in the clean and jerk.

But the Chinese lifter appeared to strain his back with his final attempt and had to be helped off the stage.

But it was too late for Bae-Young to take advantage as he buckled under the weight of an attempted 195kg lift.

Batsiushka was in form in the women's 63kg, hoisting a world record weight of 115.0 in the snatch to take a 7.5kg advantage over Skakun going into the clean and jerk.

The Belarussian managed to lift 127.5kg but Skakun, who holds the world record in the clean and jerk, did enough with a comfortable lift of 135kg.

The 23-year-old then passed on the chance to beat her own record lift of 138kg.

"I came here to win a gold medal not to set new records," said Skakun.

"If I needed to break a record to win a gold medal, of course I would have gone for it.

"I am certain this victory will motivate women back in Ukraine to take up the sport."

  • The International Weightlifting Federation is set to give a statement in the next 24 hours to respond to reports that six athletes failed drugs tests before the Games.

    "I cannot confirm details but if there are any cheats I will be happy if we catch them and throw them out," said IWF delegate Sam Coffa.

    Links to more Weightlifting stories



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