London: Khadija Mohammad set a new UAE national record in the women’s 75kg weightlifting event, as she ended in sixth place in Group B here on Friday.
Having already made history for being the first-ever woman to represent the UAE in weightlifting at an Olympic Games, Khadija was not overawed by the packed ExCel Arena.
Of the six contestants in Group B, the 17-year-old Khadija was the first and also the youngest for the snatch, starting off with a lift of 47kg and going up to 51kg in her second attempt. However, she fell on her third attempt as she tilted backward while trying to improve her lift to 53kg.
In the clean and jerk, Khadija showed a lot of maturity as she came up with three clean lifts of 53kg, 58kg and 62kg to end the competition with a total of 113kg, three kilograms better than the old UAE national record in that weight category.
“This is the best day of my life. It is such a huge moment for me to be here carrying my country’s flag and I cannot express what I felt as I went out in front of so many people,” Khadija told Gulf News.
Her coach Najwan Al Zawawi said: “I just told Khadija she has to concentrate on her lifts. Our target was to have all clean lifts so that she could settle on at least breaking the UAE national record.
Faisal Al Hammadi, general secretary of the Emirates Weightlifting Association, added: “There is no stopping now for this sport in the UAE. We need to use this as a base for the future.”
Dodo Madias Ngake Nzesso of Cameroon won the group with lifts of 115kg in the snatch and 131kg in the clean and jerk to end with a total of 246kg. In second place was Jaqueline Ferreira of Brazil with a best snatch of 102kg and a clean and jerk effort of 128kg on her third and final attempt.