Ruth Ayodele won the silver medal during a strange women's 64kg final in Riyadh ©ITG

The women’s 64 kilograms at the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Championships will go down as one of the strangest in the sport’s history.

Two Colombians who are not just from the same city but the same weightlifting club went head-to-head before one of them won the world title while the other was knocked off the podium by two B Group lifters, one of whom had never lifted in international competition before.

Ruth Ayodele from Nigeria, making her debut at the age of 23, then delayed the medal ceremony because nobody could find her.

Eventually she made her way down from the seats to the right of the platform, where she had watched the action, to declare: "That was so exciting - I never thought I would win a medal."

It would have been gold if Nathalia Llamosa had not made the last lift of the night, a clean and jerk of 122kg.

Llamosa, 26, was cheered from the stands as she made it to finish 101-122-223, which was well below her career best but enough to edge out Ayodele, on 100-122-222, by 1kg.

The clean and jerk gold, and bronze on total, went to another B Group lifter, 27-year-old Park Minkyung from South Korea who made 97-123-220. That was the same total as Llamosa’s clubmate, training partner and close friend Julieth Rodriguez in fourth.

Nathalia Llamosa made the last lift of the night, a clean and jerk at 122kg, to win gold in Riyadh ©IWF
Nathalia Llamosa made the last lift of the night, a clean and jerk at 122kg, to win gold in Riyadh ©IWF

Four A Group lifters failed to make a total.

Rodriguez, 21, matched Llamosa lift for lift as both snatched 101kg, but made only one clean and jerk to the winner’s three and ended with only a snatch silver.

Rodriguez and Llamosa train together in Palmira, a stronghold of weightlifting.

"It’s always kilo by kilo between us and because of that we always push each other in training," said Llamosa, the first non-Asian winner at these Championships after nine medal events.

She was proud of her victory, which was "the result of working so hard in weightlifting since I started 16 years ago", she said.

Asked why Ayodele had been such a late starter, Nigeria’s head coach Ojadi Aduche said: "She was in the team some years ago, then things happened in her life and she took a break from the sport.

"She is very strong and I recalled her to the team recently."

This was the second impressive performance of the week by a Nigerian, after Rafiatu Lawal’s big jump up the rankings at 59kg, and there could be more to come from Joy Eze at 71kg, Aduche said.