Sofia Day 1. Cambei and Bektas defend their European titles © Sputnik / Profimedia

On the first day of the 2024 European Weightlifting Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, the two lightest women's categories were contested.

Cansu Bektas defended her European title in the 45 kg category with 75-88-163. She also won gold in the snatch, while her team-mate Gamze Altun took gold in the clean and jerk (92 kg) and silver in the total (157 kg). 

Marta Garcia Rincon was second in the snatch but dropped to third after the clean and jerk. Nadezhda Mey Nguen (Bulgaria) and Ioana Miron (Romania) won bronze in the snatch and clean and jerk respectively. 

The battle between returning European champion Mihaela Cambei (Romania) and runner-up Giulia Imperio (Italy) in the 49 kg ended with the former dominating and the latter failing badly. Cambei won with 90-109-199 and improved her own European record in the total. Meanwhile, Imperio failed all three attempts in the snatch at 83 kg. 

With Imperio out of the competition, Duygu Alici (second after the snatch) and Medine Bilicier from Turkey (fourth after the snatch) had a good chance of making the podium, but both failed in the clean and jerk and remained without a total. Oliwia Drzazga from Poland was second with 170 kg (74+96). Ireland's Tham Nguyen was third with 74-95-169 and Spain's Sira Armengou was third in the snatch. 

The women's -55 kg, men's -55 kg and men's -61 kg categories will be in action on the second day of the competition.