Desert Hot Springs, Calif. - San Jacinto High School graduate Sarah Robles finished seventh Sunday in the Summer Olympics women's super-heavyweight weightlifting competition and said she was very pleased by her performance.
Robles lifted a combined total of 583 pounds, 264 pounds in the snatch,
the sixth-highest total, and 319 pounds in the clean and jerk, the seventh-
"The clean and jerk could have been better, but I broke three personal
records today and to do that in my first Olympics is very pleasing," Robles
said following the competition at ExCeL London.
Robles said she told herself that if she lifted 264 pounds in the snatch "I would feel elite to myself, that I'd feel like I am competitive with those other girls who have been beating me for the last few years."
Robles called the Olympic Games "so awesome because everybody just
loves each other and just wants the best out of each other."
"I almost relate the Olympic Games to your wedding day," Robles said.
"You keep the outfit for the opening ceremony in the back of your closet, just
like your wedding dress. Right now, this is like the pinnacle of my life."
Lulu Zhou of China won the gold medal, setting a world record with a
combined total of 732.6 pounds, including a world record 411.4 pounds in the
clean and jerk. Tatiana Kashirina of Russia won the silver medal with a combined total of 730.94 pounds, including a world record 332.2 pounds in the snatch.
Hripsime Khurshudyan of Armenia won the bronze medal with a combined
total of 646.8 pounds.
The other American in the 14-lifter field, Holley Mangold of Columbus,
Ohio finished 10th, with a combined total of 528 pounds despite a tearing
tendons in her right hand less than three weeks ago. The injury will require
surgery, she said.
Each lifter is allowed three attempts at the snatch and three attempts
at the clean and jerk. Their best lift in each is combined to determine their
A U.S. woman has not won an Olympic medal in weightlifting since 2000.
Robles, who turned 24 on Wednesday, is a four-time national champion who
has Madelung's deformity, a congenital deformity of the forearm, which causes
her pain when she lifts or does everyday motions.
Robles' road to the Olympics began at San Jacinto High School when her
coach Rich McClure had her use the Olympic lifts to improve her performance in
the shot put and discus throw.
Robles competed in some local weightlifting meets in 2004 and 2005 "and
I fell in love with it," she said.
Robles received athletic scholarships from Alabama and Arizona State to
compete in track and field, but those plans changed after her first season at
Arizona State when she met weightlifting coach Joe Micela in 2008 and decided
to abandon her throwing career to concentrate on weightlifting.
Robles won the U.S. Olympic trials, finished second in the 2010 Pan
American Championships and 10th in the 2010 and 2011 world championships.