Neisi Dajomes is a golden girl…
The 23-year-old Ecuadorian weightlifter has become the first female athlete from Ecuador to win an Olympic medal in any sport at the 2020 Tokyo Games.
Dajomes claimed the gold in style in the women’s weightlifting 76 kilograms class at the Tokyo International Forum with a final score of 263kg.
Dajomes’ performance is a significant improvement from her showing in the 2016 Rio Games, advancing from a seventh-place finish in Rio to the top of the podium in 2021.
Team USA’s Kate Nye won the silver with 249kg, while Aremi Fuentes of Mexico took the bronze with 245kg.
Dajomes was the only athlete out of 13 competitors to make every lift she attempted on the platform, an airtight performance that had guaranteed her the gold medal by the time she had completed her first clean & jerk. Here are all of her attempts in both lifts plus her highest total.
- Snatch— 111/115/118 kilograms (260.1 pounds)
- Clean & Jerk — 135/140/145kilograms (319.6 pounds)
- Total — 263 kilograms (579.8 pounds)
As she stood on the podium, Dajomes made an emotional dedication to her mother and brother, who passed away in 2019 and 2018 respectively.
“I had a hard time, I lost my mother and recently my brother Javier Palacios, for whom I am here,” she told Ecuadorian television channel RTS.
“All my achievements are dedicated to his memory.”
Dajomes was immediately praised by her nation’s sports minister, Sebastián Palacios.
He said on social media, “There are no words! Thank you for this! Our first Ecuadorian woman with an Olympic medal. You are golden, Neisi!”
It’s Ecuador’s fourth Olympic medal ever. Dajomes’ gold medal is Ecuador’s second in Tokyo, the first having been won by Richard Carapaz in the cycling event. This is also the first time Ecuador has ever won two medals at the same Olympics.