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Friendship is the perfect lift for Briton at Buenos Aires 2018
BUENOS AIRES, Oct. 9 -- It is not all about winning medals at the Youth Olympic Games. Although weightlifter Ellie Pryor of Britain missed out on the podium in the Europa Pavilion on Tuesday, she knows she will be taking home an enduring friendship.
As she finished in sixth place in the women's 53kg, the Briton had vocal support from fellow lifter Sandra Mensimah Owusu of Ghana.
The pair connected on social media three weeks ago and have built a strong bond since meeting in Buenos Aires.
"I followed her on Instagram by accident and came to know she is also a lifter," said 16-year-old Owusu, who competes in the 58kg category. "I asked her whether she would come to Buenos Aires for YOG and she said yes. It is such a destiny that ties us together."
"The day we met each other in Argentina was Ellie's birthday. I recognised her in the dining hall of the Olympic village and asked, 'Are you Ellie?' We were all happy and laughing."
Pryor, who turned 17 on October 3, regrets that she will not be able to offer her own support to Owusu when the Ghanaian competes on Thursday, as she will have returned to Britain.
However, she dreams of an Olympic reunion closer to home. "My future goal is Paris 2024," Pryor said. "I train five to 10 times a week, sometimes twice a day. But when you get out there [to perform] it is all worthwhile."
The top of the standings in the women's 53kg featured a close fight between Sabina Baltag of Romania and Colombian lifter Kely Valentina Junkar Acero.
After finishing second in the snatch at 77kg, 1kg less than Junkar Acero, Baltag missed her second clean & jerk attempt at 100kg. There was huge pressure on the 2017 European youth champion as her last attempt at 100kg was her only chance to win the gold.
Baltag responded with an impressive lift, winning the competition with a total of 177kg. Junkar Acero ended second with 176kg, while Vinatasari Nur of Indonesia came in third with 162kg.
In the men's 69kg, the European youth champion Muhammed Furkan Ozbek of Turkey and Georgia's European youth silver medallist Archil Malakmadze remained close in the snatch, with Ozbek holding a 1kg advantage.
But the Turkish lifter had no challenger in the clean & jerk. With three good lifts - 158kg, 165kg and 170kg - he claimed an easy victory with a total of 305kg.
Malakmadze and Mauricio Cristofer Canul Facundo of Mexico took silver and bronze medals respectively.