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Riyadh, Day 8: Rare gold for Italy and another B Group world record for Erwin at World Championships

Rahmat Erwin has done it again – a gold medal and a world record from the B Group at the IWF World Championships.

The young Indonesian did not win on total but he took clean and jerk gold in finishing second behind Oscar Reyes at 81kg, the first European winner here after 10 events.

European champion Reyes, originally from Cuba, missed his first two clean and jerks but made the last one at 193kg to become his country’s first champion since Norberto Oberburger at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, which doubled up as the World Championships at the time.

Oscar Reyes (ITA)

“I stayed calm, I knew it was for the gold medal and I was confident I could make it because I have made 200kg in training,” Reyes said.

He studied at the Manuel Fajardo sports university in Havana – which has just become an IWF academy – when he decided to move to Italy, where he had family.

Reyes stopped lifting but friends helped him to get a job in a gym in Ancona and he returned to the sport before joining Italy’s national squad in Rome.

Reyes, 26, made 163-193-356 ahead of Erwin, who declined two of his snatches, on 145-209-354. Mukhammadkodir Toshtemirov from Uzbekistan was third on 164-188-352.

Rafik Harutyunyan from Armenia took snatch bronze on 162kg and Gaygysyz Torayev from Turkmenistan was clean and jerk bronze medallist on 193kg.

Rahmat Erwin (INA)

Last December in Bogotá, Colombia, Erwin set the 73kg clean and jerk world record at 200kg and won gold on total from the B Group.

The effort, at high altitude, was so exhausting that Erwin was flat out on his back for six minutes before he recovered.

In Riyadh today he looked as if he could have gone out and done it again after claiming the world record from Karlos Nasar with a final clean and jerk of 209kg, despite weighing in lighter than everybody else at 76.67kg.

Erwin, 22, was not going for gold on total this time, just the world record and clean and jerk gold. With the Asian Games weightlifting starting in Hangzhou, China on September 30, where he will drop back to 73kg and make a rare start in an A Group, Erwin did not want to overexert himself.

Mukhammadkodir Toshtemirov (UZB)

He completed his first snatch at 145kg and declined the next two. Why?

“It was just a warm-up for the clean and jerk,” he said, laughing.

Erwin has now won an Olympic bronze medal, three World Championships golds, and set two world records from B Groups.

“I prefer B because the timing is better for me, it feels more like a training session than a competition,” he said.

“But maybe I will go for A in the Asian Games.”

China’s Olympic champion Shi Zhiyong, who has not yet posted a total in Olympic qualifying while he waits for full fitness, is not expected to lift in Hangzhou so Erwin will be favourite for another big win.

By Brian Oliver, Inside the Games

Photos by Giorgio Scala/Deepbluemedia