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Maduro congratulates Venezuelan weightlifter for country's first gold

CARACAS, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro congratulated weightlifter Jesus Gonzalez on Wednesday after he won the country's first gold medal at the Pan American Games in Toronto.

Gonzalez triumphed on Wednesday in the 105kg weightlifting men's final.Maduro celebrated Gonzalez's victory with a dedicated message on Twitter, accompanied by a series of pictures of the moment the Venezuelan athlete won the gold.

"A gold medal for Venezuela, congratulations Jesus Gonzalez. Youth is the pride of our nation, long live Venezuela," tweeted the head of state.

In total, Gonzalez lifted 385kg to climb to the top of the podium at the Panamerican Games. In the first round, he had been tied with Ecuadoran Jorge Arroyo and Brazilian Mateus Gregoria, before taking the lead in the final days.

In the clean and jerk category, the Venezuelan lifted a total of 210kg.

So far in Toronto, Venezuela has won eight medals, one gold, six silver, and one bronze.

It is currently 10th in the medal rankings, which are topped by Canada.

In an interview with Venezuelan media after the win, Gonzalez thanked the Ministry of Sport and the Venezuelan Weightlifting Federation and urged these bodies to continue boosting the morale and technical level of Venezuelan athletes.

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