The U.S. women will begin their run for the podium when competition begins Sunday at the ExCel Arena.
Making their Olympic debut, Sarah Robles and Holley Mangold will not only be competing against the world, but also each other in the super heavyweight (+75 kg.) division. With high hopes for the 2012 Games, the U.S. will look to capture its first Olympic weightlifting medal since Tara Nott won gold at the 2000 Games in Sydney.
With the U.S. having qualified two quota slots for London via a 19th-place finish at the 2011 World Championships, the top-two athletes were selected from the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials regardless of weight class.
Robles stamped her ticket to London by earning silver at the 2012 Pan American Championships, while Mangold placed eighth at the same competition.
“I’m really excited, but I’m also kind of nervous,” said Mangold. “I just want to compete. I’m aiming for the stars and hope I can reach them.”
Of the 13 other world-class athletes competing in the super heavyweight division, the greatest challenge for the top-podium spot will likely come from defending gold medalist Jang Mi-ren of South Korea.
“I’m pretty happy about the chance to compete with Sarah,” Mangold said. “I feel it gives us a double advantage. It’s a small weight class and we are both killers in our weight. I hope we both will do well and have an amazing meet.”