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Turkmenistan wins first ever Olympic medal as Polina Guryeva takes home silver in weightlifting

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It took over two decades, but Turkmenistan finally has an Olympic medal. Weightlifter Polina Guryeva took home a silver medal in weightlifting Tuesday, marking the first time an athlete representing Turkmenistan has won an Olympic medal.

Guryeva won the medal as part of the women's 59kg group. 

Guryeva excelled in both the snatch and clean and jerk. She lifted 96kg during the snatch, which tied for second among all the competitors in that group. Guryeva needed two tries to lift 96kg. She failed in her first attempt at that weight, but pulled it off the second time around.

Guryeva set herself apart in the clean and jerk, where she managed to lift 121kg. That figure was also second best among competitors.

Chinese Taipei's Hsing-Chun Kuo took home gold at the event. She set two Olympic records, lifting 103kg in the snatch and 133kg in the clean and jerk.

Silver medallist Turkmenistan's Polina Guryeva stands on the podium for the victory ceremony.
Polina Guryeva won Turkmenistan's first medal at the Olympics. (Photo by Vincenzo PINTO / AFP) (Photo by VINCENZO PINTO/AFP via Getty Images)

Turkmenistan wins its first Olympic medal

Turkmenistan first competed in the Olympics in 1996. The country only participates in the Summer Olympics, which has limited its ability to win medals. Turkmenistan has competed in every Summer Olympics since 1996. The country failed to take home a medal in its first six appearances at the Games.

Guryeva is far from the only athlete to set a new standard for her country at the Olympics. Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz won the Philippines its first ever gold medal Monday. Diaz's win ended a 97-year drought for the Philippines. 

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