Weightlifter Neisi Dajomes Becomes First Woman From Ecuador to Win an Olympic Medal

The 76-kilogram athlete is the first women and fourth Ecuadorian athlete ever to win a medal at an Olympic Games.

On August 1, 2021, 76-kilogram Olympic weightlifter Neisi Dajomes of Ecuador won the gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. By lifting 14 kilograms more than runner-up Katherine Nye of the United States, in the Women’s 76-Kilogram class, Dajomes secured Ecuador’s fourth Olympic medal ever, and the first earned by a woman.

Dajomes’ performance is a significant improvement from her showing in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, advancing from a seventh-place finish in Rio to the top of the podium in 2021. Her 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.

[Related: The Full 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games Weightlifting Roster]

Neisi Dajomes Tokyo 2020 Lifts

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 & Jerk135/140/145 kilograms (319.6 pounds)
  • Total — 263 kilograms (579.8 pounds)


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A post shared by Neisi Dajomes (@neisi_dajomes)

During the Women’s 76-kilogram event, a series of extremely tight calls by the jury had turned what was expected to be a five-or-six woman race into a tight finale. Dajomes’ final clean and jerk of 145 kilograms was initially denied by the judges due to inconsistency in her elbow position. However, after a few moments of quiet tension in the stadium, a reversal was declared and she was awarded the lift by the jury.

Dajomes’ second two jerks were performed not for the position but for pride. After snatching an extraordinary 118 kilograms in the first portion of the event, her opening clean & jerk was already enough to secure the most prestigious medal in weightlifting.

Neisi Dajomes Weightlifting Career

Dajomes has been making waves in the weightlifting world since her first international medal at the 2015 Pan American Games where, as a junior athlete, she totaled 225 kilograms (496 pounds). 

Since then, she has gone on to help establish Ecuador as a legitimate threat in both the North American regional circuit and World level events. Her rapid progress on the platform over the last five years has led her to advance from 10th to third at Senior World events, alongside back-to-back-to-back wins at both the Pan American Championships (2017, 2018, 2019) and Junior World Championships (2016, 2017, 2018). 

Neisi Dajomes International Medals

  • Gold: 7
  • Silver: 2
  • Bronze: 1

At only 23 years of age, Dajomes is contending with the best in the world in the Women’s new light heavyweight division (weight categories having been reorganized in 2018). With weightlifting confirmed as an event in the next Olympics in Paris 2024, it is a safe bet that Dajomes will continue on her trajectory and be a presumptive medalist at the next Games.

Weightlifting in Tokyo

The weightlifters of Tokyo 2020 have put up some of the sport’s most historically impressive performances since the Games commenced on July 27, 2021. While a majority of the categories have wrapped up their sessions, several competitions remain before the Games conclude on August 8, 2021. If you want to catch up on the highlights or rewatch full weightlifting sessions, BarBend has broken down the best ways to see them all in Tokyo this year.

Featured Image: @neisi_dajomes on Instagram