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Rahmat Erwin makes history with world record and gold from B Group

By Brian Oliver at Gran Carpa Américas Corferias in Bogotá

Rahmat Erwin ABDULLAH (INA) won a gold medal and set a world record from the B Group in the men’s 73kg at the IWF World Championships in Bogotá, Colombia.

“It’s amazing – nobody has ever done that before at the World Championships,” said the IWF President Mohamed Jalood.

Rahmat’s team-mate Rizki JUNIANSYAH (INA) finished second on total. Lifting in the A Group, he went for 198kg with his final attempt to overtake Rahmat and improve two of his own junior world records, but he failed.

Five of the A Group lifters failed to make a total, including two medallists from the Tokyo Olympic Games, Julio MAYORA (VEN) and Mirko ZANNI (ITA).

There was another last-lift victory for the host nation in the day’s other medal event at 67kg, and another Olympic champion was beaten, making it three in two days.

Rahmat made his world record clean and jerk of 200kg at the second attempt.

“I have done it in training and I’m very happy, but it was very hard,” said Rahmat, who was so exhausted he was flat out on the ground for six minutes in the warm-up area afterwards.

He won a bronze medal in Tokyo from a B Group and said the decision to try it again was “strategy, not injury”. He lifted 22kg more than his entry total.

Rahmat made 152-200-352, Juniansyah 155-192-347 and bronze medallist Alexey CHURKIN (KAZ) made 153-190-343.

Churkin also competed in the B Group, which produced three of the top five on total.

The finishing order in the snatch was Juniansyah on 155kg, Bozhidar ANDREEV (BUL) on 154kg, and Churkin on 153kg.

In the clean and jerk it was Rahmat, Juniansyah and Churkin, with the B Group lifter Masanori MIYAMOTO (JPN) fourth on 187kg.

In the men’s 67kg Francisco MOSQUERA (COL) had two chances to overtake the Tokyo champion Chen LIJUN (CHN) in a tense contest in which the top four finishers were separated by only 4kg.

He got the bar above his head at the first attempt but dropped it, then came back and made it to earn a huge cheer from the home crowd.

After making the winning lift and throughout the medal ceremony, which featured five lifters, Mosquera kept throwing his arms wide and blowing kisses to a section of the crowd where his wife, son, mother and trainer were sitting.

This win was the highlight of his career and he said, “They have been there for me through this process, good times and bad, and I want to thank them and God.”

Mosquera, 30, made a career-best total of 325kg and is hoping he will get another chance at glory by competing at the Olympic Games for the first time at Paris 2024, for which this was the first qualifying event.

“I could not be in Tokyo last year (Colombia was restricted to only three places because of a long and complicated doping dispute) but in Paris I hope the federation will select me,” he said.

Chen won the snatch with 148kg and started early and low in the clean and jerk. He led Mosquera, who was fourth at half-way, by 5kg. The silver and bronze snatch medals both went to Thailand, to Witsanu CHANTRI (THA) on 144kg and 18-year-old Weeraphon WICHUMA (THA) on 143kg.

Chen, 29, finished 15kg below his best total on 148-176-324, and six of his rivals had 12 lifts to come between them. He had to wait 18 minutes, during which time 20-year old Fehmi GENC (TUR) guaranteed gold in clean and jerk on 182kg, the number Mosquera needed for victory.

Mosquera made it with the final lift of the session to finish 143-182-325. Wichuma made 143-180-323, and Genc was fourth on 140-182-322.