The women’s 71-kilogram weightlifting division is pushing the boundaries of strength in the sport. On Thursday, June 14, 2023, that boundary was pushed just a little bit further: Ecuadorian athlete Angie Palacios Dajomes snatched 121 kilograms, or 266.7 pounds, at the 2023 International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) Grand Prix I in Havana, Cuba.
Not only was this monumental lift a five-kilogram competitive personal record for Dajomes (and the first new world record of the competition); it was a confirmation that the women’s 71-kilogram division, newly recognized as a competitive class for the 2024 Olympic Games, is a hotbed of competitive spirit.
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Angie Dajomes has competed in the IWF since 2015 across a variety of weight categories. In the past year alone, she’s finished third at the 2022 World Weightlifting Championships and won the Pan American Championships twice (2022, 2023).
A Rising Bar
When the unclaimed-for-nearly-five-years snatch World Standard — a figurative benchmark set by the IWF upon the announcement of weightlifting’s modern weight classes — finally fell in December 2022, it was kind of a big deal.
The author of that record was Romania’s Loredana Toma, a fan favorite who snatched 119 kilograms en route to winning her second Worlds by a commanding margin. But only a few short months after Toma’s record broke years of radio silence, her 119-kilogram record was erased.
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China’s Liao Guifang snatched 120 kilograms at the 2023 Asian Weightlifting Championships in May; her second senior international competition ever. Six weeks and some change later, along comes Dajomes, adding another kilo to the bar. Here’s the timeline:
- July 2018: The IWF ratifies the creation of the 71-kilogram class, establishing 118 kilograms as the weight to beat for athletes to officially claim the world record.
- December 2022: Loredana Toma sets the record officially at 119 kilograms; snatches 121 kilos in training a few days prior.
- May 2023: Liao Guifang wins the 2023 Asian Championships with 120 kilograms.
- June 2023: Angie Dajomes snatches a new 121-kilogram record at the IWF Grand Prix I.
This phenomenon isn’t exclusive to Olympic lifting. For many years until 1954, a sub-four-minute mile was considered an impossible feat for the highest-performing runners in the world. Flash forward half a century and it’s an impressive, but not extraordinary, time for a high school track athlete.
If the rapid progression of the Women’s 71-kilogram snatch record is any indication, there’s still a lot of race yet to be run. The 2024 Olympic Games kick off in France in a little over a year. Fans of the sport can expect to see Dajomes — and her contemporaries — putting their best feet forward on the platform in Paris.
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