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Zudova lifts out of her class to take 5th at Ashgabat

28 September 2017

ASHGABAT 2017: Sofia Zudova lifted out of her weight division at Ashgabat 2017 to be Australia’s top placed weightlifter with 5th in the women’s 90kg category.

When the 22-year-old stepped out of her normal 75kg division into the 90kg, she knew she was up for a tough challenge against much larger and stronger competitors.

However, the Melbournian matched her total personal best weight set at the Oceana Championships on the Gold Coast the weekend before, recording 88kg in the snatch and 110kg in the clean and jerk for a total of 198kg with four out of six successful lifts.

“I matched my total PB result from the Oceania Championships and I am happy to have backed up that performance,” Zudova said.

“I’m a bit disappointed about the two misses because I felt I should have gotten them as I was feeling strong, but it definitely left me encouraged that I am fine and where I need to be because I looked at the footage and it looked as comfortable as I felt.”

Fiji’s Eileen Cikamatana won gold with a new Oceania Record of 253kg, beating her previous record set on August 5th by 3kg.

Turkmenistan’s Aýsoltan Toycyyewa won silver with 215kg followed by Dolera Davronova from Uzbekistan with 201kg for the bronze medal.

The pressure of not having to lose weight in the days leading into the competition was a relief for Zudova, but she is not planning on sticking in the upper category in the future.

“Going up a weight category was easier because I didn’t have to actively lose weight, I could just compete at what I walked in at,” she said.

“But I will never compete at this weight again.

“I will stay at the 75kg until they reshuffle the weight categories because in that 90kg class I just can’t play with those girls yet and I would need a lot more strength development to compete for medals and I am just not strong enough.”

Having only been in the sport for two years since the move from CrossFit, Ashgabat was Zudova’s first time wearing the green and gold on the international stage.

“It was an absolutely unreal experience.

“It was actually very special to be named in this team… because it’s my first competition for Australia overseas and it’s been really special.

“In the first couple of days here I had a very acute awareness of ‘gosh it would be good to go to Tokyo’. It was one of those things where you look around and think ‘I could really get behind this!’

“Being in this environment, doing what you love with other people who care just as much as you do, it’s a culmination of everything you work for,” she said.

Click HERE to see the full results.

Georgia Thompson
olympics.com.au

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Sofia Zudova