| Event type

Lightweight (≤58 kilograms), Women

Date30 July 2012 — 12:30, 15:30
LocationExCeL, Newham, London (South Arena 3)
Participants19 from 17 countries
FormatTotal of best lifts in snatch and clean & jerk determined placement. Ties broken by lightest bodyweight.

Anastasiya Novikova of Belarus, as the reigning World Champion, thrice runner-up (2007, 2009, 2010), four-time European Champion (2005, 2009-2011), and bronze medalist from the 2008 Summer Olympics in the women’s featherweight division was one of the few competitors who could pose a serious challenge to the Chinese dominance in the weightlifting tournament (even though some of her earlier accolades were in the featherweight category). China’s entry in the 2012 Olympic tournament was Li Xueying, 2009 World Champion and 2011 runner-up. There was also a possibility of a challenge from Pimsiri Sirikaew of Thailand, bronze medalist at the most recent World Championships, but Novikova and Li were strongly favored for the crown.

With a lift in the snatch of 108 kg Li bested the Olympic record set by her compatriot Chen Yanqing, winner of the last two gold medals in the event, and placed herself in an advantageous position for the clean and jerk portion. Yuliya Kalina of Ukraine, bronze medalist at the 2009 World Championships and 2009 European runner-up, came in close second with 106 kg while Boyanka Kostova of Azerbaijan, reigning European Champion and a world silver medalist in the featherweight in 2010, managed 105 kg. With lifts of 103 and 100 kg respectively, Novikova and Sirikaew fell to joint-fourth and joint-ninth.

Already ahead of the competition, Li began the clean and jerk with a greater weight than anyone else, successfully lifting 133 kg on her first attempt. This weight (or lower) eliminated most of her challengers, including Novikova and Kostova, the latter of whom failed at her first attempt with 124 kg and only managed 128 kg in the end. Kalina too only managed 129 kg, but this had been good enough for gold until she was dethroned by Li. Rattikan Gulnoi of Thailand then lifted 134 kg, four above her personal best, to enter the bronze medal spot. She was quickly kicked out by her teammate Sirikaew, however, who lifted 136 kg to enter the silver medal spot, a feat that Gulnoi could not reproduce. Already ahead, Li made her lead virtually unreachable by lifting 138 kg to set an Olympic record for total points and tying the clean and jerk one, again stealing these honors from Chen. Sirikaew attempted 140 kg in an attempt to break the clean and jerk Olympic record while Li attempted to break the world one with a 144 kg lift and, although both were unable to accomplish their feats, neither went home empty handed.

That was how the event and the results seemed to have ended. In 2015, however, the IOC began re-testing samples from the 2008 Beijing and 2012 London Olympics, using newer, more advanced testing techniques, in an effort to find those who had used performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), but in whom it could not be detected at the time of those Olympics. This was one of the many events affected. Every women’s weightlifting event at the 2012 London Olympics, except flyweight (≤ 48 kg), was affected by positive re-tests.

Original bronze medalist Yuliya Kalina (UKR) tested positive in July 2016 for turinabol (dehydrochloromethyltestosterone) and was disqualified, losing her bronze medal. It was re-assigned to original fourth-place finisher Rattikan Kulnoi of Thailand. The original fifth-place finisher, Boyanka Kostova of Azerbaijan, was disqualified in November 2016 after a re-test positive for both turinabol (dehydrochloromethyltestosterone) and stanozolol.

PosGroupLifterNOCWeightBodyweightSnatchClean & Jerk
1Li XueyingCHN24657.98108 (1)138 (1)Gold
2Pimsiri SirikaewTHA23657.76100 (=7)136 (2)Silver
3Rattikan KulnoiTHA23457.71100 (=7)134 (3)Bronze
4Jong Chun-MiPRK23157.63101 (=5)130 (4)
5Nastassia NovikauBLR23057.94103 (=2)127 (6)
6Kuo Hsing-ChunTPE22856.9599 (10)129 (5)
7Alexandra EscobarECU22657.48103 (=2)123 (8)
8Jackelina HerediaCOL22557.86100 (=7)125 (7)
9Romela BegajALB21657.94101 (=5)115 (10)
10Zoe SmithGBR21157.9790 (13)121 (9)
11Christin UlrichGER20757.4093 (12)114 (11)
12Yang Eun-HyeKOR20057.9387 (=14)113 (12)
13Bediha TunadağıTUR19457.3487 (=14)107 (13)
14Annie MoniquiCAN19057.9185 (16)105 (14)
15Jenly Tegu WiniSOL16057.4365 (17)95 (15)
DNFHidilyn DiazPHI57.7097 (11)– (NVL)
DNFLina RivasCOL57.73103 (=2)– (NVL)
DQYuliya KalinaUKR[235][57.60][106] (DQ)[129] (DQ)1
DQBoyanka KostovaAZE[233][56.93][105] (DQ)[128] (DQ)2