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Tashkent, Day 4: Rahmat Erwin beats world record twice and builds huge lead in Paris rankings

Rahmat Erwin from Indonesia boosted his chances of Olympic gold when he beat his own clean and jerk world record twice on the way to winning the 73kg title at the Asian Championships in Tashkent.

In his past 13 competitions Erwin, 23, has won an Olympic bronze medal, two world titles, Asian Games gold, a continental title and two gold medals at the South East Asian Games, setting multiple world records at 73kg and 81kg along the way.

After a sensational performance that put him 14kg clear at the top of the Olympic rankings, Erwin wants more. Looking ahead to Paris in August he said, “It has to be gold now.”

Once more he enjoyed the moment with his father Erwin Abdullah, who was a successful international lifter and is now his son’s coach. There was an emotional celebration at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China in October, and this time Erwin senior carried his son away from the platform on his back.

Rahmat Erwin (INA) – Photo credit: Isaac Morillas/

The pair were later joined by Erwin junior’s original coach – his mother. “When I started weightlifting in 2012 my mother was my coach because my father had to work to support the family,” Erwin said.

A year later his father took over, and Erwin has enjoyed a spectacular career. Asked what was the most important thing his father had taught him, Erwin said, “It’s quite hard to explain, but it’s that everybody has their limit, and that it takes them a different amount of time and effort to reach it.

“I haven’t reached my limit yet!”

Erwin made 159-204-363, finishing 1kg short of Shi Zhiyong’s world record total. He might have beaten it today but for being timed out by a fraction of a second on his first snatch attempt, his only failure. The world records came in lifts five and six, first at 202kg then 204kg.

Happy family: Erwin with his parents

To complete a good day for Indonesia Rizki Juniansyah finished second with a six-from-six 158-195-353. “I’m really happy with that because I’ve only been training properly for a month after appendix surgery,” he said. “There’s more to come.”

Masanori Miyamoto from Japan was third on 150-185-335, declining his final attempt. Bak Joohyo from Korea took clean and jerk bronze on 186kg. Those two medallists and Jeeram Suttipong from Thailand were all well below their best Olympic ranking total.

Rizki both made a 6kg gain in the extended list but has no chance of overhauling his team-mate Erwin. Another who moved up within sight of the top 10 was Doston Yokubov from Uzbekistan, who had plenty of support in the crowd.

Yokubov could have drawn level with 10th-placed Furkan Ozbek from Turkey with a successful final attempt but he failed, and had to settle for a 3kg rankings improvement in fourth place on 146-184-330.

The popular Korean Lee Sangyeon went up from 67kg for the first time and topped the B Group on 140-182-322, finishing ahead of three A Group lifters.

Women’s 64kg podium – Photo credit: Isaac Morillas/

DPR Korea extended its winning run to eight when Ri Suk took the women’s 64kg. Ri had the biggest winning margin of the week when she finished 50kg clear of Le Wei-Chia from Chinese Taipei, with the Korean Park Minkyung third.

It would have been 56kg if 20-year-old Ri had succeeded with her world record attempt of 147kg on her final lift. She missed it and finished 112-141-253. Li made 85-118-203 and Park 86-116-202.

It was less spectacular than last time for Ri, who set eight world records in five lifts at the IWF Grand Prix in Doha in December – seven junior records and the senior clean and jerk.

PRK did not have an athlete in the men’s event but will still have Erwin in their sights on Wednesday. Ri Chong Song defeated Erwin at 81kg in Doha. He twice tried and failed to beat Erwin’s 81kg clean and jerk world record when he won at the Asian Games, then matched it with 209kg in Doha.

By Brian Oliver