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Havana, Day 6: Unstoppable Erwin so close to another world record

Rahmat Erwin came close to holding world records in two categories when he moved up to the heaviest weight of his career at the IWF Grand Prix here in Cuba.

The 73kg clean and jerk world record holder from Indonesia got the bar above his head but could not complete the 209kg attempt, which would have bettered Karlos Nasar’s 81kg clean and jerk world best.

Rahmat Erwin (INA)

“I had it, I had it… but no, the jerk,” said Erwin after claiming Indonesia’s third victory in four days here.

Erwin, 22, won at this weight last month in the Southeast Asian Games, a non-IWF event where he weighed 76.6kg and made 158-201-359. Here he weighed in at a career high of 77.6kg and made 156-202-358, failing with his final attempts in snatch and clean and jerk.

Asked how much he has made in training, Erwin said, “That’s a secret – but more than the world record.”

He said putting on the weight “makes me feel more powerful”. He expects to return to 73kg in defence of his world title for his next outing at the IWF World Championships in Saudi Arabia in September.

Rahmat Erwin with his coaches after the WR attempt

It was an unusual session in which Erwin, Olympic bronze medallist at 73kg, faced only two A Group rivals when four athletes withdrew after weighing in. Two later became one when Karem Ben Hnia from Tunisia declined all three clean and jerk attempts.

Ben Hnia, eight times African champion, has been struggling with a left leg injury and had not trained for two weeks but he went out to make a single snatch so he could win a medal. He expects to be back to full fitness in Saudi Arabia.

Gaygysyz Torayev from Turkmenistan made three of his six attempts to finish 144-175-319, and the B Group lifter Samuel Guertin from Canada was third on 140-173-313.

Gaygysyz Torayev (TKM)

The four who withdrew included the European champion at this weight, Oscar Reyes from Italy – who was born and raised in Cuba – and European 73kg silver medallist David Sanchez from Spain.

There was a happy ending in the B Group for teenager Brayan Ibanez Guerrero from Canada, whose first clean and jerk was declared a no-lift by the jury because there was no pause between movements.

He made the next two for a total of 306kg, which was 3kg beyond his target to qualify for Saudi Arabia, where he may now be the youngest athlete in the World Championships at 16.

The women’s 64kg was a story of withdrawals and injuries before it ended with a familiar part of Beethoven’s ninth symphony being played, the anthem for the team of Individual Neutral Athletes competing here.

Dziyana Maiseyevich (AIN)

Dziyana Maiseyevich was the winner on 94-116-210, which was 4kg less than the B Group winner at 59kg on Monday.

The two biggest names on the start list, 64kg Olympic champion Maude Charron from Canada and 59kg world champion Yenny Alvarez from Colombia, both withdrew after weighing in, as did Irene Martinez from Spain.

Ine Andersson from Norway, oldest of the seven remaining athletes at 33, failed with all three clean and jerks and hobbled on to the podium with an ice pack on her right thigh to receive her snatch bronze medal, having suffered an injury while making her final attempt.

Maiseyevich, making her first appearance as a senior 18 months after finishing fifth in the European Junior Championships, made six from six. At 21 she was the youngest in the field.

Maria Lobon from Colombia was second on 90-115-205 and Han Jian from Korea third on 94-109-203.

By Brian Oliver, Inside the Games