World record and gold for Iran’s Rostami; NKorea’s Rim shines

Kianoush Rostami broke his own world record to win gold in the men's 85kg weightlifting at the Rio Olympics on Friday and clinch Iran's first medal of the Games, before promising it would not be the last. Rostami, 25, a bronze medallist in the same category in London four years ago, made 217kg with his final clean and jerk for a total of 396kg, beating his world record by one kilogram.

Tian Tao of China took silver with 395kgs despite making only two of his six lifts, while Romania's Gabriel Sincraian, who lifted a total of 390kg, secured bronze after edging out Kazakhstan's Denis Ulanov. Rostami looked supremely confident throughout, though he said he was not as sure as he looked when he went for the winning lift. When he made his first two snatches with apparent ease, Rostami bowed and gestured to the crowd. However, he missed his third attempt and finished the snatch only 1kg ahead of his main rival, Tian. Earlier, the 22-year-old Tian came desperately close to being eliminated. While Rostami cruised through his first two lifts, Tian failed at 173kg, went up by 5kg for his next attempt and missed that too.

On his third snatch, also at 178kg, he looked beaten, wobbling on his right knee and then on his left before he finally found the strength to make the lift. Tian missed his first two clean and jerks too, evoking memories of the IWF world championships in Houston, Texas last November when he missed all three attempts, having led after the snatch. Rostami coaches himself, a point he made several times to the reporters after sealing gold.

Rostami predicted more weightlifting gold for Iran in Rio as the country has favourites in two of the remaining three men's medal events, Sohrab Moradi in the 94kg and Behdad Salimikordabiasi in the super-heavyweights. Meanwhile, Olympic medallist Rim Jong-Sim plans to celebrate North Korea's first weightlifting gold of the Rio Olympics by listening to some of her favourite songs about the reclusive state's leaders. The 23-year-old blew away the opposition Friday to claim first place in the women's 75kg category by a whopping 16kg ahead of Belarussian Darya Naumava. Spain's Lidia Valentin claimed bronze. Rim snatched 121kg and lifted 153kg in the clean and jerk for a total of 274, adding to two silver weightlifting medals that North Korea have already won in Brazil.

Rim, who added to the gold she won in the women's 69kg at London 2012, was in complete control throughout, leading by 5kg after the snatch before extending her dominance in the clean and jerk. Rim's gold came after compatriots Om Yun-Chol finished second in the men's 56kg while Choe Hyo-Sim stepped onto the podium in the women's 63kg. Three other North Korean lifters have failed to threaten the podium this week and the hermit country are well behind their most successful medal haul in weightlifting at any Olympics. They took home three gold and a bronze from London 2012. Rim's affable demeanour was in stark contrast to most of North Korea's other weightlifters this week, presumably on account of her pleasing leader Kim.

Source: Arab Times

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