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US heavyweights Mangold, Robles hope to brighten weightlifting spotlight at Olympics

Posted Aug 04, 2012

By LUKE MEREDITH, AP Sports Writer

LONDON (AP) — The United States has been tough to find in weightlifting competitions at the London Games. And that's being kind.

American heavyweights Holley Mangold and Sarah Robles hope to change that on Sunday.

Mangold and Robles will compete in the +75 kilograms class at the ExCel Centre. They're two of just three U.S. weightlifters who earned spots to London. Men's 85 kilogram lifter Kendrick Farris finished 10th on Friday.

North Americans don't have much of a stake in weightlifting because so few of them compete at the highest level. But because of Mangold and Robles, they've got a reason to tune in, and both women hope they can bring publicity to the sport.

"I don't just compete for myself. I compete to help other people. To show girls and to show guys that 'Hey this is something that you can do,'" Robles said. "I like being strong."

Mangold's famous brother, New York Jets center Nick Mangold, has changed his mind and is planning to be in attendance to watch his sister lift in her first Olympics — four years ahead of when many thought she'd make her debut in the Rio Games.

But no one should expect a medal out of Mangold or Robles.

Mangold's listed entry total — or the amount she plans to attempt to lift on her first try in the snatch and the clean and jerk — is 255 kilograms. Robles is at 258.

To put those totals in perspective, China's Lulu Zhou has declared 315 kilograms while Russia's Tatiana Kashirina is planning to start at 300 total.

She owns the world record of 328 total, which she set at the 2011 world championships, and is be favored to bring home China's third women's weightlifting gold medal.

Kashirina, the 2010 world champion, matched Lulu's 328 total the recent European championships.

South Korea's Jang Mi-Ran is the reigning Olympic champion after posting a 326 total in Beijing, and she also won silver in the Athens Games in 2004. If she wins on Sunday, she'll be the first woman to ever win twice at this weight.

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