Kicking off the finals, David Katoatao of Kiribati starts us off. Any fans of weightlifting will know David from weightlifting competitions all over the globe, and more famously for his signature dance moves when he completes a lift. He sets the bar at a modest 135kg, and then follows that up straight after with a 140kg second lift. However, Espinosa of Peru beats this on his second attempt with 142kg, momentarily putting himself first, until Katoatao beats this weight with his final lift of 145kg – complete with his own signature celebration dance. Great stuff.
Espinosa completes his final lift, setting the bar at 151kg which puts him at the top once again. Until Georgia’s Giorgi Chkheidze goes out and hits 165 on his first attempt. However, crowd favourite Gaber Mohamed beats this by one kilo, lifting 166kg.
Jugen Spiess proves that Germany still has a place at the heart of weightlifting after Mattias Steiner retired – and lifts an incredible 170kg, setting the bar at a new high for the following athletes. Gaber Mohamed retorts by again beating the high score by one kilo, and lifts 171kg on his second attempt. Georgian Chkheidze failed to beat this weight however, bailing out of his snatch at 173kg on his third and final attempt. This marked the first failure of the event.
Gaber filled the void by hitting 173kg on his final attempt, solidifying his place at the top – and Jurgen Speiss failed to capitalise on this, and failed to lift 174kg.
However, out of nowhere, Salwan Abbood of Iraq wows the crowd by lifting 175kg and making it look easy on his first attempt, after Machado (BRA) and Speiss (GER) couldn’t hit it. Next out was the Austrian competitor Matiriosjan, who impressed the crowd once again by lifting 179kg on his first lift. Abbood retorts by lifting 180kg, keeping himself at the top, but couldn’t solidify his place there with a 183kg final attempt, as he failed to get into the overhead squat position. This was Matiriosjan’s chance to capitalise on his second attempt. He tries to lift 184kg, but fails to lift this. If he can’t complete this weight with his final lift, he’d finish second after Abbood. Unfotunately, he couldn’t, leaving the scoreboard as Abbood first with 180, Matiriosjan second at 179, and Gaber Mohamed at 172kg.
Clean and Jerk
Hernan Viera Espinosa of Peru kicks off by setting the bar at 193kg. Matues Machada attempts to beat this with a 200kg lift, but fails in front of his home crowd with both of his first two attempts. However, the Peruvian manages to lift the 200kg, setting the bar at a new high. Mateus has one attempt left, but he fails his final lift at the same weight. Tragedy strikes as Machada bombs out of the competition in front of his home crowd. Matiriosjan comes out early, getting his first lift over and done with – hoisting 201kg to get his name back on top of the leader boards.
This prompts Egyptian Gaber Mohamed to come out and beat him, lifting 204kg with his preferred split-jerk technique – getting himself to the top. But then, out comes everyone’s favourite dancing lifter, David Katoatao, who matches Gaber’s impressive lift with a 204kg clean and jerk of his own. Complete with his own celebration dance!
Matiriosjan returns with his second attempt, which is 208kg – he does this and raises the bar which had been stuck at 204 for a while. He hit it, putting himself in first. Back to my personal favourite – David Katoatao who comes out for his last attempt. He failed to match 208, but this doesn’t dampen his spirits as he dances his way off the stage with smiles all around.
Jurgen Spiess steals the show from here, with a lift of 210kg on his first attempt. Matiriosjan needs to match this if he wants to hang in the top three again. Luckily, he pulls this off, and matches the weight. Now is the time for the beast himself, Saliman Abbood, to start on his path to gold. He kicks it off with a stunning 214kg clean and jerk on his first attempt.
It’s now between him and Jurgen Speiss, the only other lifter with attempts remaining. Abbood returns after his first lift, trying again for 219kg – he manages to clean it and jerk it above his head, but he just can’t seem to get his feet stable as he drops the mighty weight to the ground. He still remains in the lead however, with a 394kg total. His third attempt also proves too much, and his body has clearly taken a battering after these massive lifts he’s been hitting all day. He doesn’t even get the bar in a clean position, and drops it just as quickly as he picked it up.
It’s now down to Jurgen, the only lifter standing. He goes in heavy with a 220kg lift, which he just about manages to clean, but fails to jerk this weight. Even if he does complete this lift, he won’t beat Abbood, but it will mean he will beat Matiriosjan for second place.
With one lift left, he has to muster up everything he can if he’s to get second place. He does it, hitting an incredible 220kg – falling to his knees and roaring into the air, he beats Matiriosjan by one kilo total. This leaves the totals at: Abbood at 394kg, Speiss at 390kg, Matiriosjan at 389kg.