Podobedova wins weightlifting gold in tight battle

Svetlana Podobedova and Natalya Zabolotnaya traded Olympic records during their clash in the women's 75-kilogram weightlifting competition, but it was Kazakhstan's Podobedova who came out on top thanks to a lower body weight.

Podobedova and her Russian counterpart went head-to-head all day. The gold- medal winner drew first blood by setting an Olympic record with 130kg in the snatch, but that mark was broken by one kilogram by Zabolotnaya.

The 27-year-old Zabolotnaya, who holds the world record in the snatch with 135kg and total weight at 296kg, then set a new Olympic mark with 155kg in the clean and jerk. Podobedova responded with 156kg, but Zabolotnaya came back with 160kg.

A two-time world champion, Podobedova countered with a record 161kg to put her in a tie with Zabolotnaya, a silver medalist at the 2004 Athens Games, with another Olympic high of 291kg.

However, Podobedova's lower body weight gave her the gold.

"I just wished for it so much. I have been working towards this all my life. For 15 years," said Podobedova.

Belarus' Iryna Kulesha finished a distance third with 269kg, four more than Spain's Lidia Valentin Perez.

Expected 24-year-old contender and reigning bronze medal winner Nadezda Evstyukhina of Russia did not finish the competition after failing to complete a lift during the snatch.