When gold is not enough

ANTALYA – A day after her emergence on world weightlifting’s center stage with three medals – one gold and two silver – at the 14th World Weightlifting Championships in Antalya, Turkey, 22-year-old Greek athlete Natasha Tsakiri still felt that she could have done better. A gold medal, instead of the silver, for overall performance would have sent her home a fully satisfied athlete, the ambitious young athlete commented afterward. Besides her silver medal for overall performance (227.5 kg), Tsakiri, who competed in the women’s 63-kilogram category, also won the gold in the clean-and-jerk (125 kg) and silver in the snatch (102.5 kg). I was worried, not so much because I didn’t win for overall performance, but more because I didn’t make a good attempt, said Tsakiri, referring to a failed attempt at 127.5 kilograms in the clean-and-jerk. But, OK, one shouldn’t get too greedy, she added. A fourth-year medical student trying to find time amid her busy training schedule for a fifth year at university, Tsakiri went from one competition to another over the past 12 months before finally tasting success in Turkey. However, she avoided making any grand statements about her prospects at the Athens Olympics in 2004. I can’t imagine imagine myself listening to the national anthem in Athens. I couldn’t imagine myself on the pedestal here. It’s a long way away, Tsakiri said. Such an occasion depends on many factors, such as one’s form on the day of competition and what your opponents are capable of on the same day.

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