Romela Begaj claims gold at U.S. weightlifting tournament

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times December 5, 2017 11:12

Romela Begaj claims gold at U.S. weightlifting tournament

TIRANA, Dec. 5 – Romela Begaj has become Albania’s first ever world champion in women’s weightlifting and Albania’s second athlete to claim a world championships gold meal.

The 31-year-old Albanian won gold in the snatch with 107 kg and silver in total with 235 kg after finishing fifth in the clean and jerk with 128 kg. She competed in the women’s 69 kg at the IWF World championships in the U.S. last weekend.

“Begaj showed once again that she is a champion, reconfirming her values and unveiling that higher and higher results can be achieved through hard work. The Albanian sport and she should be proud of raising the Albanian flag again in international competitions,” said Viron Bezhani, the head of the Albanian National Olympic Committee.

Begaj has represented Albania twice at the Summer Olympic Games and managed to finish sixth in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She was banned to participate at the Rio 2016 Olympics after being suspended over doping in 2014 at the Kazakhstan World Weightlifting Championships where she was stripped of her gold medal in snatch.

Among other Albanian weightlifter competing at the U.S. tournament, Erkand Qerimaj finished sixth overall in the men’s 77 kg category.

Weightlifting has traditionally been Albania’s best performing Olympic discipline at international competitions.

In 1972, late Ymer Pampuri set a world record at the Munich Olympic Games for the press at featherweight lifting 127.5 kg, finishing ninth overall following an injury. Pampuri who died in early 2017 at 73 has since been a world record holder in the clean and press which later in 1972 was removed from competition due to difficulties in judging proper technique and health concerns.

Tirana Times
By Tirana Times December 5, 2017 11:12