At age 21, Latvia’s Rebeka Koha is already one of the most accomplished weightlifters in the world. On her resume, she can boast the following stats:
- 2016 Olympian
- 2X Junior World Champion
- 2X Senior World Medalist
- 2X Senior European Champion
- Youth Olympic Medalist
Today, she has been recognized for her accomplishments with a spot on Forbes Latvia 30 Under 30.
Koha is the second prominent international weightlifter to earn praise from Forbes this year. Kate Nye, America’s 2019 World Champion, was recognized in early December 2019 in her own right.
At the 2016 Olympics, Koha finished in 4th place in the 53KG category, only 2 kilos off of a spot on the medal podium. Since then she has gone up a weight class and continued to dominate all age groups, both in Europe and at the World level. She won bronze medals at the Senior World Championships in both 2017 and 2018. At the 2018 Championships in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, she set personal records of 103KG (226lb) in the snatch and 124KG (273lb) in the C&J, for a 227KG (499lb) total.
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@rebeka_koha snatching 100kg, just 1kg behind Boyanka Kostova. With clean and jerks well underway we have a bit of a show on our hands! With a personal best of 103kg from 2018 worlds Koha is clearly in good shape and in even better standings with Olympic qualification. 🏋️♂️🏠🎙 #weightliftinghouse
In September of this year at the 2019 World Championships in Thailand, Koha was coming off of surgery and her numbers were lower than usual because of that. She placed 8th overall with a total of 215KG. However, she successfully made all 6 of her attempts at the competition and confirmed she was feeling better and getting ready for a solid run up to the Olympic Games in Tokyo next summer.
Two weeks ago in Doha at the 2019 Qatar International Cup, she totaled 219KG and had an epic competition with Azerbaijan’s Boyanka Kastova. Kastova, the 2015 World Champion and 2016 European Champion, edged her out of first place by two kilos. However, Koha is clearly showing progress towards full health.
One would imagine she will be a serious contender at the 2020 European Championships in April as well as the Olympic Games next July. As of this writing she has the 6th most Olympic qualification points in the 59KG category overall, and the 2nd most for a European athlete. While the 2020 Olympic spots will not be awarded until May, her chances of competing in Tokyo are very sound from a points perspective.
Koha is coached by Eduards Andruskevics, himself a former Latvian National Champion who is now also a very accomplished weightlifting coach for Latvia. In addition to Rebeka, he coached two-time Olympic medal winner Viktors Ščerbatihs. American Coaches who attended the 2018 USA Weightlifting Coaching symposium would be familiar with Andruskevics, who was one of the featured speakers at the event.
Featured image: @forbes_lv on Instagram