All the talk going into the competition was of a duel between Maneza and Russia's Svetlana Tsarukaeva, with the two lifters going head-to-head for the previous three world championships.
Tsarukaeva led at the interval after a snatch of 112kg compared to Maneza's 110kg, but the Russian's clean and jerk predictably let her down and 125kg (total 237kg) was only enough for silver.
Maneza clinched gold with her first clean and jerk attempt at 135kg - equalling the Olympic record - before she set about trying to take her own world record of 143kg.
Two failed lifts at 144kg meant it was not to be, but a 245kg total was enough for another Olympic record.
Canada's Christine Girard (236kg) edged bronze ahead of Turkey's Sibel Simsek, making up for her agonising fourth place at the 2008 Beijing Games.