Colombian Yenny Álvarez, centre, won the women's 59kg title, defeating two Olympic champions ©ITG

Colombian Yenny Álvarez picked the right time and place to give the performance of a lifetime when she brought to an end one of the longest winning runs in weightlifting.

On a public holiday in Colombia, a full house of 1,800 noisy spectators in Bogotá went wild when Alvarez made her final lift to defeat two Olympic champions and claim the biggest win of her career, the 59 kilograms title at the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) World Championships.

She became the first woman since 2016 to do something that even China's formidable array of talent has failed to do - defeat Kuo Hsing-Chun in a 59kg contest.

Olympic champion Kuo of Chinese Taipei was second and the 64kg winner in Tokyo last year, the Canadian Maude Charron, was third in a hugely entertaining session that, for once, had far more good lifts than no-lifts.

"It was so good to win for these people in my home country," said Álvarez, 27. 

"I am so passionate about this sport."

In the days before the World Championships, hosted by Colombia for the first time, she had said: "I want to be a world and Olympic champion and to be an example for future generations."

At last year's IWF World Championships in Uzbekistan, Álvarez had made career-best numbers in snatch, clean and jerk and total - and last night she beat all of them to make 101-133-234.

Chinese Taipei's Kuo Hsing-Chun, centre, lost for the first time since 2016 in the women's 59kg category ©ITG
Chinese Taipei's Kuo Hsing-Chun, centre, lost for the first time since 2016 in the women's 59kg category ©ITG

That final lift, which brought the biggest cheer of many, improved her best clean and jerk by 6kg.

Kuo, whose only other defeat in the past six years came when she went up to 64kg and found China’s Deng Wei in world-record form, was far from downcast and was a more than gracious loser.

She waited in the warm-up room for Álvarez to return from the platform after that winning lift and gave her a very generous round of applause.

"I am happy with my performance because I have had injuries, I had a lot of home time during COVID-19 and I will do better in my next competition," said Kuo, the only weightlifter ever to appear on the front cover of Vogue magazine.

Kuo said that she had expected a very strong challenge "from Colombia and from Luo Shifang from China - she’s very young for me!"

China had two strong contenders but they did not make the podium on total because Álvarez, Kuo and Charron all had a good night.

Luo Xiaomin won the snatch and made 103-126-229 for fifth place and 21-year-old Luo Shifang, making her first appearance in senior competition, failed with her final attempt that might have won the title, at 133kg, and finished fourth on 101-129-230.

Luo Shifang was second in the clean and jerk behind Álvarez and Kuo, who made 102-130-232.

There was only 2kg separating the top six in the snatch, where the medllists were Luo Xiaomin on 103kg, Charron on the same number and Ukraine's Kamila Konotop on 102kg.

Charron, who won at 64kg in Tokyo, was understandably happy with her performance, as she showed with a jaunty dance off the platform after her first clean and jerk.

She had never competed at less than 63kg before, and had been suffering a knee injury.

Kuo’s next stop will be the Asian Championships in Korea in May, while Charron will discuss her plans with her personal coach Spencer Arnold, the American who has nine athletes competing in Bogotá from the United States, Canada, Denmark and Lebanon.

There was a notable performance down in 43rd place in the 59kg category, which had 52 entries, the highest of the Championships.

Alanoud Alshehri, who made 70-77-147, was the first female from Saudi Arabia ever to lift at the World Championships.