Canadian weightlifter Maude Charron a gold-medal threat at Tokyo 2020

Entering her first Olympics as reigning champion of both the Commonwealth Games and Pan American championships, Canadian weightlifter Maude Charron is ready to shine in Tokyo.

28-year-old poised to win Canada's 1st Olympic weightlifting medal since 2012

Canadian weightlifter Maude Charron is riding a wave of momentum into her first Olympics after winning gold at the Pan Am championships in April. (Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Entering her first Olympics as reigning champion of both the Commonwealth Games and Pan American championships, Canadian weightlifter Maude Charron is ready to shine in Tokyo.

The Rimouski, Que., native is ranked third in the world in the 64kg weight class, and she is poised to win Canada's first Olympic weightlifting medal since Christine Girard in 2012.

Charron competes Tuesday at 6:50 a.m. ET in an event that will be streamed live on CBC Gem, the CBC Olympics app and CBC Sports' Tokyo 2020 website.

While her accolades have made her a serious threat to reach the Olympic podium, additional factors out of her control have helped set the stage for her to potentially capture gold.

Two of the top weightlifters in Charron's weight class are no longer competing, with defending Olympic champion Deng Wei of China and four-time European champion Loredana Toma of Romania both forced to sit out.

Deng, who is also the world record holder, was not selected due to injury. Romania was banned from participating in the weightlifting competition due to doping violations, despite Toma not having any involvement with the doping cases.

While Charron only began the sport in 2015, she has already built an impressive resume.

Charron won gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, where she broke a Games record by lifting 122kg in the clean and jerk, and she is riding a wave of momentum after winning silver at the 2020 IWF World Cup and gold at this year's Pan Am championships.

The 28-year-old broke all three continental records in her weight class at April's event with 133kg in the clean and jerk, 107kg in the snatch and 240kg in total.

Charron's list of achievements also includes a silver medal in the snatch at the 2017 world championships. She barely missed the podium in 2019, finishing fourth at both the Pan American Games and Pan American championships.

Canada hasn't won an Olympic medal in weightlifting since Girard claimed gold in the 63kg weight class in 2012. Girard also won bronze at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, which was Canada's first Olympic weightlifting medal in 24 years.

Canada's competitors

Canada has four women competing in the weightlifting event in Tokyo, marking the largest women's contingent in the nation's Olympic history.

Charron is joined by fellow Olympic rookies Rachel Leblanc-Bazinet (55kg), Kristel Ngarlem (76kg) and Tali Darsigny (59kg), who have all reached the international podium since 2018. 

Leblanc-Bazinet and Darsigny are both coached by Darsigny's father, Yvan, who represented Canada as a weightlifter at the Olympics in 1984 and 1992.

Leblanc-Bazinet competed early Monday morning, finishing 12th with a 181kg total.

Darsigny competes on Monday at 10:50 p.m. ET, while Ngarlem competes on Sunday, Aug. 1 at 12:50 a.m. ET. Boady Santavy is the only Canadian in the men's competition, and he is competing in the 96kg event on Saturday, July 31 at 6:50 a.m. ET.

The women's competition also features historic Olympian Laurel Hubbard, the first transgender athlete to be named to an Olympic team. Hubbard competes in the +87kg event on Monday, Aug. 2 at 6:50 a.m. ET.

Weightlifting has been a part of nearly every Games since the first modern Olympics in 1896, but the women's competition didn't make its Olympic debut until the Sydney Games in 2000.

WATCH | Charron breaks Commonwealth Games record:

Weightlifting Wrap: Maude Charron golden in record-breaking performance

3 years ago
The Canadian weightlifter broke a clean and jerk Commonwealth Games record, on her way to a gold medal in the women's 63 kilogram competition. 1:18

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