Canada’s Maude Charron wins Olympic weightlifting gold


Canada's Maude Charron wins Olympic weightlifting gold-Milenio Stadium-Canada
Canada’s Maude Charron won a gold medal in weightlifting Tuesday in Tokyo. It is Canada’s second weightlifting gold at the Olympics, following Christine Girard’s performance at the London 2012 Games. (Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Maude Charron has won a gold medal in the women’s 64-kilogram weightlifting.

Team Canada’s athletes (finally) arrive at Tokyo 2020 and are ready to deliver

She lifted 105 kg in the snatch, and 131 in the clean and jerk to win Canada’s second gold medal of the Tokyo Games.

Charron led the field after the snatch portion of the event, and waited as her competitors pushed the barbell weight heavier and heavier through the clean and jerk.

She initially declared 122 kg for her clean and jerk, but went to 128 on her first attempt but lost her balance and failed.

The Rimouski, Que., lifter didn’t have much time to recover, immediately getting back on the clock as the last remaining competitor at 128 kg. Having used up much of the two-minute clock, Charron made no mistake on her second attempt, lifting 128 kg and vaulting herself into the lead.

Scream of triumph

After Great Britain’s Sarah Davies upped her third declared weight to 133 kg — meaning she said she would lift at least that to reach the podium — Charron was on the clock to lift 131 for her last attempt of the competition, despite already being in the lead.

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Charron got the bar to her shoulders cleanly, heaved, and hoisted the 131-kg weight up and above her head, belting out a scream of triumph as she extended her lead to an unreachable margin, with Davies unable to catch her even with a successful lift.

Maude Charron-Milenio Stadium-Canada
Charron screams in triumph as she successfully clears 131 kilograms in the clean and jerk, lifting Canada to a gold medal in the women’s 64 kg division at the 2020 Tokyo Games. (Edgard Garrido/Reuters)

Davies ultimately failed at 133 kg, dropping her to fifth place. Italy’s Giorgia Bordignon won silver. Bronze went to Chinese Taipei’s Chen Wen-Huei.

Let her eat cake

Charron, 28, got emotional on the podium as O Canada filled the Tokyo International Forum.

“Actually I don’t remember,” Charron said with a laugh when asked about the anthem. “I was just crying, and I didn’t realize what happened.

“I thought about my grandmother because once she told me she’d like me to sing the Canadian anthem, so I sang it — but on the podium at the Olympics.”

This is Canada’s second Olympic gold medal in weightlifting, after Christine Girard won in the 63-kg division at the London 2012 Games.

Girard didn’t get to hold her gold medal at the London Games, or hear O Canada, as she was awarded the gold in 2018 after two competitors retroactively tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

“I think [this gold medal] was due to Canada for some time,” Charron said, adding she wished her family could have been there to see her victory in person. “With Christine Girard, I was thinking a lot about her. I think it’s a medal that’s due to us.”

What’s next for Canada’s newest Olympic champion?

“I have no idea,” she said. Then, chuckling, she added, “I just want to eat popcorn and cake.”

Charron in podium-Milenio Stadium-Canada
Charron takes a moment atop the podium as the Canadian national anthem plays in the Tokyo International Forum. (Edgard Garrido/Reuters)


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