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Thursday, August 5, 1999
PROFILE: Maryse Turcotte
Medal lifts for Niro and Turcotte

By DOUG LUNNEY -- Winnipeg Sun

They lifted plenty, but it was raising their flag that meant the most.

Canadians Maryse Turcotte and Nancy Niro won the gold and silver medals, respectively, in the women's 58kg weightlifting event at the Centennial Concert Hall last night. They are Canada's first medals in Pan Am Games weightlifting.

"It was nice to see two Canadians on the podium," said Turcotte, 24, from Brossard Que.

"The gold was my goal. At the world championships last November I won the silver medal in the clean and jerk and finished fourth in total. And there was nobody from (that event who beat me participating here) so I couldn't be happy with anything less than gold."

Turcotte, who holds the distinction of being the first Canadian woman to lift more than twice her own body weight (clean and jerk), lifted a combined total of 200kg. She seemed to easily lift 87.5kg in the snatch and added 112.5kg in the clean and jerk. She tried to better her clean and jerk with two attempts at 117.5kg, but wasn't able to.

"I would have liked to do my 117.5 so it would have been a 205 kilo total, but 200 is a good start for the (2000 Sydney) Olympics," Turcotte said.

Niro matched Turcotte with an 87.5kg lift in the snatch and posted a 105kg lift in the clean and jerk after failing to lift 107.5 The 32-year-old from Greenfield Park, Que., was thrilled with her silver, especially since she was coming off of a back injury.

GREAT DAY

"This is a great day for me," said Niro, who has competed in 12 consecutive world championships. "I had a problem with my back, which is why I had a problem with my clean and jerk. But it's good for me because it's the first time in the Pan Am Games for me and I started weightlifting 12 years ago.

"Sometimes I lift in another class, but I have to prepare for the next world championships (in Greece) and I have to take care of my back."

Mexico's Zoraya Jimenez took the silver with a combined total of 190kg (85kg snatch, 105kg clean and jerk).

Earlier yesterday, Canada's Sebastien Groulx of Drummondville, Que., finished fifth in the men's 69kg event. He lifted a combined 292.5kg.

Cuba's Nudez Delgado took the gold (317.5 total), followed by Colombians Jonny Gonzalez and Morales Barbosa, who each had a 315kg total.

In the women's 53kg, American Robin Goad (187.5 total) claimed gold, followed by Cordero Maneiro (17.5kg) of Venezuela and Molina Gallego (167.5) of Colombia.
Maryse Turcotte in the news
Turcotte's best not good enough
Was win only skin deep?
Medal lifts for Niro and Turcotte
Turcotte in pictures
Consoled after lift
An Olympic attempt
After an Olympic lift