Canada's Maude Charron won Pan American gold ©Getty Images

Canada's Olympic champion Maude Charron claimed the Pan American 59 kilograms title in Bariloche, Argentina - despite failing with three of her six lifts.

On a day when Canada was, for once, out of the medals at the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Youth Championships here, Charron won with 101-124-225.

She missed one snatch and two clean and jerks but finished 5kg clear of her nearest rival, the American Danielle Gunnin on 100-120-220, with the Mexican Daphne Guillen third on 95-122-217.

It was an impressive total for Gunnin, who is coached by her husband Cord, in her first Olympic qualifier and puts her sixth in the early ranking list.

Gunnin's team-mate Taylor Wilkins failed to make a total after bombing out in clean and jerk and sits one place below Gunnin in the rankings.

Charron did not move up the Paris 2024 Olympic rankings but took a second continental title to add to Olympic gold, Commonwealth Games gold and IWF World Championships bronze gained in the past two years.

She went down from her Tokyo winning weight of 64kg to the new Olympic category of 59kg for the first time last December, when she finished third on 231kg at the IWF World Championships in Bogota, Colombia.

Yerasyl Saulebekov won 73 kilograms gold for Kazakhstan ©ITG
Yerasyl Saulebekov won 73 kilograms gold for Kazakhstan ©ITG

The winner there, Yenny Alvarez, was not competing in Bariloche because Colombia withdrew its entire team in a dispute over cash-only payments for team fees.

Canada's first ever World Youth Championships medallist, Brayan Ibanez Guerrero - whose sister Emily was one of two 12-year-old Canadian girls to win medals here - was unable to repeat his feat of last year on the fourth day of competition in Durres, when he made only two good lifts to finish fifth at 81kg.

Levan Ochigava from Georgia, the 73kg European youth champion, moved up and made five from six in a career-best 143-179-322 to claim victory.

Ochiogava made his way into weightlifting via his uncle, the international lifter Tornike Kokaia. 

"He took me to training when I was 11 or 12, persuaded me to try weightlifting and that was it - this is the sport for me," he said.

Kwon Dae Hee from Korea made 142-174-316 for second place and Uzbekistan's Diyorbek Ermatov was third on 145-169-314.

The 73kg winner Yerasyl Saulebekov from Kazakhstan said he had nobody in the family to introduce him to the sport, but his next-door neighbour did the job.

"He is a weightlifting coach and got me started in the sport," said Saulebekov, Kazakhstan's first winner of the week here.

In a closely contested session, Saulebekov made 137-168-305 to edge ahead of Ravin Almammadov from Azerbaijan on 136-167-303 and Korea's Park Ju Hyeon on 131-158-289.

Turkmenistan's Medine Amanova won a sweep of women's 59kg golds to make it a great week for her family.

Her father Gurbandurdy Amanov is Turkmenistan's national youth coach and her younger sister Ogulshat won the 45kg title on Sunday (March 26).

Their 18-year-old sister Ogulgerek is a junior lifter who has won an international medal and their two younger brothers aged eight and 11 are on their pathway into the sport.

Turkmenistan national youth coach Gurbandurdy Amanov with gold medallist daughters Medine Amanova, the 59kg winner, and, right, Ogulshat Amanova, the 45kg champion ©ITG
Turkmenistan national youth coach Gurbandurdy Amanov with gold medallist daughters Medine Amanova, the 59kg winner, and, right, Ogulshat Amanova, the 45kg champion ©ITG

They also have two other sisters who are elite chess players, and their mother excelled at volleyball.

"I was a weightlifter myself, I always wanted to win championship medals but it did not happen," said Amanov, who like his wife graduated at the National Sports Institute.

"Now I am so proud, I am seeing my wish fulfilled through my daughters."

Amanova made 90-109-199 to finish ahead of an Ecuadorian from an even more illustrious weightlifting family, Jessica Palacios Dajome on 88-107-195.

Palacios Dajome's older sisters are Neisi Dajomes, who won Olympic gold in Tokyo, and Angie Palacios, also an Olympian, who was on the podium at the IWF World Championships in Colombia in December.

Her brother German is due to compete at this year's Pan American Junior Championships.

Athletes from Egypt and Kazakhstan passed out after failing with their final attempts when medals were within their grasp, and the B Group lifter Enkileda Carja claimed bronze for the home nation on 87-100-187.

Carja's coach Eglantina Kalemi opted for the B Group to help make her athlete’s international debut less stressful.