The podium for the women's 64kg category - from left Giorgia Bordignon, Maude Charron and Chen Wen-Huei ©Getty Images

Maude Charron became the first Canadian woman to stand on top of the Olympic weightlifting podium when she put in a superb performance to win the 64 kilograms gold at Tokyo International Forum.

It was a stunning effort by Charron, 28, who at the time of the last Olympic Games in Rio five years ago had never made a lift in an international competition.

She trained at the Cirque de Soleil school in acrobatics, was a talented gymnast, and eventually found her way into weightlifting via CrossFit.

Charron finished in front of Giorgia Bordignon, Italy’s second medallist at Tokyo 2020, and Chinese Taipei’s Chen Wen-Huei.

Canada has won gold before but Christine Girard’s victory at London 2012 came years later when lifters who had finished ahead of her were disqualified for doping.

Sarah Davies of Britain had a chance to win her nation’s first weightlifting medal since 1984 but failed with her final attempt at 133kg, which would have won silver.

Britain has a strong medal contender in the women’s super-heavyweights on Monday (August 2), when it will hope to end the long wait.

The 64kg category was shorn of two of the world’s top lifters, China’s Deng Wei because of injury and Romania’s Loredana Toma because her National Federation is banned from these Games for multiple doping violations.

Five lifters were in contention for the medals in a tense finish and the television commentator Michaela Breeze, a double Commonwealth Games gold medallist, described it as "the most open category in the history of women’s weightlifting at the Olympic Games."

Giorgia Bordignon of Italy claimed the silver medal in the women's 64kg category at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics ©Getty Images
Giorgia Bordignon of Italy claimed the silver medal in the women's 64kg category at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics ©Getty Images

Besides Davies, Mercedes Perez of Colombia and Angie Palacios of Ecuador failed with lifts that would have won medals.

Charron made four of her six attempts to finish on 105-131-236, while 34-year-old Bordignon made all six for 104-128-232.

Chen had an anxious wait while others failed, but her 103-127-230 turned out to be good enough for bronze.

Earlier in the day Chen’s team mate Kuo Hsing-Chun won the 59kg by a wide margin, making the same 236kg total as Charron in the heavier event.

It was no huge surprise because Kuo gained more points in qualifying than any other female lifter across all weight classes - a remarkable achievement by someone in a lighter category.

Kuo, 27, who holds all three world records at 59kg, tried but failed with a world record attempt of 141kg in the clean and jerk.

"I was competing against myself, and I wanted to break the world record," Kuo said.

The silver and bronze medals went to Polina Guryeva of Turkmenistan - the nation’s first-ever Olympic medal - and Japan's Mikiko Andoh, who finished respectively 19kg and 22kg behind Kuo.

Andoh was in tears on the platform after making her final clean and jerk to finish 1kg ahead of France’s Dora Tchakounte, and was helped up by two coaches.

She had injured her knee in a recent training mishap when she dropped the barbell, and said: "I thought that was the end of it when that happened.

"I was not able to do the clean and jerk until I got here today."