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Favourites rebut challengers

When the men’s 85kg came around, there was no doubt that former Youth Olympic and junior champion Artem OKULOV (18 years old) from Russia had the biggest chance to win. In a large field of 16 lifters, he won the snatch by a large margin (162kg) and so did not have to fear the challenge coming from Armenian Aghasi AGHASYAN. Both jerked 195kg, this weight giving OKULOV another two gold medals, then, in a third attempt he chose to take on 203kg for a personal best. That weight escaped him this time – but not for long.

Weightlifting at its best – that was the essence of the men’s 94kg competition, when the “bidding” went on for minutes backstage, kilo by kilo, without any of the lifters actually appearing on the platform to take an attempt. As in the books, each lift towards the end of the competition changed the order. Eventually, five lifters shared the medals. Lukasz Roman GRELA of Poland took the snatch gold medal on bodyweight ahead of Romanian Marius DANCIU and Russia’s Egor KLIMANOV. In the clean and jerk the Russian met a new challenger, Vardan DAVTYAN from Armenia. At the end of the tactical fight, both lifted 212kg and – having equally snatched 165kg and totalling 377kg – the overall gold medal was captured by KLIMANOV due to his slightly lighter bodyweight.