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Turkmenistan takes home first ever Olympic medal

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Turkmenistan's Polina Guryeva takes home silver in weightlifting, the nation's first ever Olympic medal.

Posted: Jul 28, 2021 12:00 AM

Turkmenistan is the newest nation to join the all-time Olympic medal count, following a standout performance in the women's 59kg weightlifting competition at the 2020 Tokyo Games.

Polina Guryeva, 28, lifted 96 in the snatch, combined with a 121 in clean and jerk for a total score of 217.

That score was enough to pull ahead of all but one of her 14 opponents, earning Guryeva the silver medal and Turkmenistan's first podium finish in the nation's history.

The gold medal went to Chinese Taipei's Kuo Hsing-chun, who set Olympic records in all three categories; snatch (103), clean and jerk (133) and total (236).

This is the seventh Olympic Games that Turkmenistan has competed in as its own independent nation. Prior to 1996, Turkmen athletes competed on teams with the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, and the 1992 Unified Team.

Prior to Guryeva's trailblazing accomplishment, the last country to win its first Olympic medal was Jordan, following Ahmad Abughaush's taekwondo tournament victory in 2016.

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