It was a tense duel for gold in the final moments of the men’s 109 kg weightlifting competition, but with an Olympic record clean and jerk lift of 237 kg, Uzbekistan’s Akbar Djuraev powered his way to the top spot. Combined with his snatch of 193 kg, Djuraev also surpassed the combined Olympic standard with a total of 430 kg to claim a second Games record.
But the 21-year-old’s golden victory in his Olympic debut didn’t come easy. After he was the first of the two to set a new Olympic record in the competition with a godlike snatch of 195 kg, Armenian “Hercules” Simon Martirosyan, 24, had two attempts left in the clean and jerk after Djuraev finished. However, Martirosyan failed twice at what would have been a winning weight of 238 kg, giving the Uzbek the win. Martirosyan took silver with a combined total of 423 kg.
Arturs Plesnieks, 29, of Latvia claimed bronze with a score of 410 kg. American Wes Kitts, 31, placed eighth place in his first Olympic appearance with a combined total of 390 kg.