Competition Reports

The 2014 Asian Games Weightlifting Championships Part 2

The 2014 Asian Games Weightlifting Championships: Part 2
Andrew Charniga, Jr.
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OM Yunchol (PRK. Charniga photo

56 kg

The contenders in this class were the world record holder in the clean and jerk OM Yunchol (PRK), Thach Kim Tuan (VIE), WU Jingbiao (CHN) and TRAN Le Quoc Toan (VIE).

The existing world records at the start of this class were Senior: 138 + 169 = 305 and Junior: 133 + 165 = 293.

OM Yunchol (PRK) was the first of the leaders up with 123. He made an explosive, hop forward lift with this weight. TRAN Le Quoc Toan (VIE) was next, hopping back and squatting low with 124; he followed this with another very low squat pausing briefly at 127. OM Yunchol (PRK) hopped forward while sitting almost to the floor with another explosive effort at 128. Thach Kim Tuan (VIE), the junior world champion and junior record holder in the snatch, pulled 130; then he just sat and it was not even close.

Taking the same 130, WU Jingbiao (CHN) pulled long and sat low for a good lift. Thach Kim Tuan (VIE) repeated with 130, but this time effectively pulling himself under for an easy lift. OM Yunchol (PRK) pulled longer, hopping forward with 131; it was not close. TRAN Le Quoc Toan (VIE) pulled long and hopped back for a miss with 133. WU Jingbiao (CHN) made a smooth success with 133 by squatting very low. Thach Kim Tuan (VIE) hopped back, sitting very low, with a very well coordinated 134 junior world record. After the snatch the order found OM buried six kilos behind the leader.

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WU Jingbiao (CHN). Charniga photo.

TRAN Le Quoc Toan (VIE) cleaned his first at 153; he adjusted his hand spacing out, then proceeded to struggle to hold the jerk. WU Jingbiao (CHN) struggled to recover with 155; he shifted his hand spacing out before just managing to sneak under the weight. With his long legs and long arms, Thach Kim Tuan (VIE) would have looked out of place in this class during the press era, but in 2014 the long links are good levers. He sat very low with 156 and then made a good jerk with a straight back leg. TRAN Le Quoc Toan (VIE) made an easier clean, widening his hands before making a solid jerk.

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Thach Kim Tuan (VIE).Charniga photo.

OM Yunchol (PRK) cleaned 160 with a hop forward then scissored very wide with a straight rear leg easy opener. WU Jingbiao (CHN) struggled to recover with his 160, but he simply could not make it. Thach Kim Tuan (VIE) sat very low, bounced a few times, struggling to stand before making a solid jerk with 160; he was still six kilos up on OM. A one kilo increase to 161 looked like 5 because WU Jingbiao (CHN) was not close to getting up with it. Thach Kim Tuan (VIE) pulled long with 162 only to get pinned in the squat. Thach Kim Tuan (VIE), trying to pad his lead with 162, bounced three times at the bottom; however, he rushed the jerk sending it forward.

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OM Yunchol (PRK). Charniga photo

Now it was up to OM Yunchol (PRK) to make up six kilos with 166. This was another hop forward and an easy recovery with another very wide split to secure the gold medal. OM then decided to break his own world record with 170. He performed a very slow pull with a lightning drop under the weight; another wide split jerk created a new world record. As impressive as was OM’s lifting, the man to watch is THACH who has the youth and leverage to continue to improve.

62 kg

This class featured another fine lineup with two PRK lifters KIM Unguk (PRK) and JONG Kwangjin (PRK), CHEN Lijun (CHN) and Irawan Eko Yuli (INA).

The world records at the start of this session were 153 + 182 = 327.

The first of the two PRK lifters JONG Kwangjin (PRK) appeared with 121 for a hop back, low squat success. His next with 125 was up but too far back; his third with this weight met the same fate. Irawan Eko Yuli (INA) sat very low almost losing the 137 behind, but he recovered for a good lift. CHEN Lijun (CHN) appeared with 140, sitting low, but kind of slowly, for a smooth success. Irawan Eko Yuli (INA) sat very low with a slight hop back with his 2nd at 142. CHEN Lijun (CHN) had to run to the platform before time ran out; he still made his 2nd with 143.

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JONG Kwangjin (PRK). Charniga Photo.

Irawan Eko Yuli (INA) made an ultra smooth, almost touching the floor, snatch with 145. With plenty of time to prepare, CHEN Lijun (CHN) made a relatively poor effort with his 3rd with 145.

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CHEN Lijun (CHN). Charniga photo.

KIM Unguk (PRK) came out for 147 after everyone else had finished; he hopped forward without really bottoming out for an easy opener. His next with 152 was only 1 kg from the world record. This time he hopped forward, sank very low, pausing briefly, before standing. Now 154 was selected to break ZHI Zhiyong’s 12 year old record of 153 and create an insurmountable lead. Grinning and waving to his supporters as he approached the platform, KIM was brimming with confidence. He made another smooth almost effortless lift for the record.

JONG Kwangjin (PRK) was up first with 160; unlike the entire PRK team, he attempted a squat jerk technique which failed miserably. He missed the clean on the 2nd and, though he had the weight briefly in the low squat with the weight locked out, he dropped the 3rd as well. Irawan Eko Yuli (INA) cleaned 166 with a low squat, pausing several seconds before jerking on slightly bent arms.

Eleven kilos plus bodyweight ahead of his nearest competitor, KIM Unguk’s 1st attempt with 170 sewed up the gold medal. KIM made an easy clean and what looked like an improvement for him in his jerk technique. CHEN Lijun (CHN) opened with 173 for a hard clean with a sloppy jerk causing him to twist around before dumping the weight. He followed himself and this time made a much easier clean with a solid jerk.

Irawan Eko Yuli (INA) sat back in the clean with 174. KIM Unguk (PRK) came out for 174, a weight which would bury his opponents further and set a new world record in the total. He made a harder clean but another solid jerk with this weight for a new record. Irawan Eko Yuli (INA) was pinned with 174. CHEN Lijun (CHN) followed a hard clean of 178 with a step forward, followed by a solid jerk.

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KIM Unguk (PRK). Charniga photo

Relaxed and brimming with confidence KIM Unguk (PRK) rounded his shoulders coming up from the squat, then quickly scissored under the weight for another world record in the total. It was nothing fancy with no hand spacing change and no attempt to reinvent the wheel. However, it is much easier to relax and make the jerk when there is no pressure.

A curious occurrence throughout the championships found the South Korean fans cheering for lifters from both Koreas. But the North Korean fans (including the PRK lifters) cheered only for North Korean lifters.

69 kg

The top three contenders in this class were LIN Qingfeng (CHN), KIM Myonghyok (PRK) and Mohammed Kadhum (IRQ).

Mohammed Kadhum (IRQ) made his opener of 143 with a very fast drop under the bar. He followed this with another hop back fast drop into the squat with 146. His 3rd with 148 was the best of the three with a very low squat under the bar. LIN Qingfeng (CHN) muscled up an almost no foot movement 1st with 150. KIM Myonghyok (PRK) took 152 for his opening snatch. He snapped this overhead into a very low squat, pausing for a couple of seconds before standing.

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LIN Qingfeng (CHN). Charniga photo.

LIN Qingfeng (CHN) muscled 155 up the same as his first with a short pause in the low squat. KIM Myonghyok (PRK) hit a very low squat, very fast, to succeed with his 2nd at 157. LIN Qingfeng (CHN) muscled up 158 to go up one kilo. He recovered extremely fast from the squat. KIM Myonghyok (PRK) jumped to 160; sitting almost to the floor, he struggled to keep from falling forward for several seconds before recovering for a good lift.

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KIM Myonghyok (PRK). Charniga photo.

KIM is the only member of the PRK team (male or female) that seems a little on the tall side with long limbs. All of these young people on the PRK team were infants during the great famine years. A CIA analysis concluded that an entire generation of North Koreans are of a shorter stature as a result of reduced caloric intake resulting from the great famine. KIM was the only PRK lifter whose arms seemed proportionally longer than those of his team members.

Mohammed Kadhum (IRQ) struggled to clean 174 but scissored his feet very fast for a good jerk. He rushed to jerk his next at 177 for no lift. He repeated with this weight this time taking more care to jerk the weight with more precision. KIM Myonghyok (PRK) opened with 182 in the clean and jerk; he succeeded by making a fast clean and very fast and wide split in the jerk. Down 2 kilos to KIM, LIN Qingfeng (CHN) cleaned 184 stopping at about parallel in the squat; scissoring extremely fast in the jerk, he moved into the lead.

KIM Myonghyok (PRK) selected 190 in a bid to move ahead by 8 kilos. He cleaned it satisfactorily only to drop the barbell after fixing it briefly overhead in the jerk. Had he repeated with this weight, KIM probably would have made it. Instead a sort of pissing match transpired between the PRK and Chinese camps. First KIM jumped to 196 and the Chinese to 198. Then KIM to 197, the Chinese to 199. Finally KIM went to 198 so the Chinese would need 200. There was no way KIM was going to make this weight; he came out anyway, pulled the weight to his chest and was unable to stand.

Already the winner, LIN Qingfeng (CHN), stayed with the declared 200 instead of dropping it to 199. He raised this would be world record to his chest twice; each time he failed to recover from the squat. A reasonable selection to repeat with 190 by KIM could have created an exciting finish; instead they finished with three big misses.

77 kg

The top three for this session were LU Xiaojun (CHN), KIM Kwangsong (PRK) and Chinnawong Chatuphum (THA). On paper this class did not look that competitive with the Olympic champion in the field sans European lifters.

Chinnawong Chatuphum (THA) snatched his 155 1st attempt smoothly but very slowly. KIM Kwangsong (PRK) made a hop forward, very fast descent, opening with 160. Chinnawong Chatuphum (THA) lifted the same 160 once again slowly and smoothly and followed that with another slow hop back lift with 163. The Olympic champion and current world record holder of the snatch and total records LU Xiaojun (CHN) made his 1st with 165 look like a warm up weight with almost no foot movement.

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Chinnawong Chatuphum (THA). Charniga photo

KIM Kwangsong (PRK) dropped under the weight very quickly for a good 165 on his 2nd. KIM, dropping very fast, sank even lower on his 3rd with 168. Moving to 170, LU Xiaojun (CHN) initially looped the bar forward for still a very easy lift. With a little more effort, LU Xiaojun (CHN) made a faster lift with 175, only 1 kg below his world record. This gave him a commanding of 7 kg lead over KIM.

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KIM Kwangsong (PRK). Charniga photo

Chinnawong Chatuphum (THA) struggled to lock his arms with his opener of 186. KIM Kwangsong (PRK) opened with 190 for a fast hop forward clean, followed by a very fast, wide split for a good lift. Chinnawong Chatuphum (THA) cleaned 190 slowly, compensating for a slight lean forward in the jerk with a wide split. KIM Kwangsong (PRK) hopped forward, stopped briefly at the bottom, then performed a fast, wide scissoring of the legs for an easy jerk. Chinnawong Chatuphum (THA) cleaned 196 well. However, the slight forward lean he compensated for in the previous two attempts would not work with the heavier weight which dropped forward.

LU Xiaojun (CHN) needed only 200 to sew up the gold, so his opener with this weight seemed pretty safe. He cleaned this weight with no foot movement. He sort of push pressed the weight up before dropping it, unable to fix it at arms length. He made the same easy no foot movement clean with his 2nd at 200; this time fixing the weight behind his head briefly in the low squat before it drifted forward.

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LU Xiaojun (CHN). Charniga photo.

Smelling blood, the PRK team moved KIM from 200 to 201 to make LU follow himself for his 3rd with 200. This time LU fixed the weight overhead in the low squat, started up, went back down to get his balance before struggling to stand for a successful lift. This is way too much work to lift a weight which a simple, standard split style technique could have accomplished with considerable less effort and even less risk.

KIM Kwangsong (PRK) went to 207 to win on bodyweight. He sat so low in the clean his hips almost touched the platform. However, he had nothing left for the jerk, settling for silver.

85 kg

This class featured SA Jaehyouk (KOR) the 2008 Olympic champion; 2011 World champion Rostami Kianoush (IRI), Taghian Rasoul (IRI), TIAN Tao (CHN) and Alimov Ulugbek (UZB).

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SA Jaehyouk (KOR). Charniga photo.

Taghian Rasoul (IRI) was up first with a hop forward, very fast lift almost stopping at parallel. Alimov Ulugbek (UZB) made a fast leaning forward a hop forward lift with 160. TIAN Tao (CHN) muscled up 163 with much upper body effort. Taghian Rasoul (IRI) hopped forward with his 2nd at 163 but was unable to sink low enough to fix it; he repeated and this time he forced himself low enough to lock out his arms. Alimov Ulugbek (UZB) made another drop low, lean forward lift with 164.

Now the reason for the packed audience and extra media, SA Jaehyouk (KOR) opened with 165. He struggled briefly in the low squat to get his balance and to keep his left elbow locked. Rostami Kianoush (IRI) rushed his first with 166 hopping too far forward as the weight drifted backward. On the repeat with the same 166, body and barbell were coordinated. Alimov Ulugbek (UZB) could not hop forward under 167 for his 3rd. TIAN Tao (CHN) hopped forward as he muscled 168 back sending it too far backwards. His repeat with this weight was a little closer but the result was the same.

SA Jaehyouk (KOR) struggled for a couple of seconds in the low squat with 171 and, despite shaking, stood for a good lift. Apparently, not wanting to press his luck with his elbow, he passed his third attempt. Hopping forward very fast into a very low squat, Rostami Kianoush (IRI) fixed a good 172 to move ahead of SA.

Taghian Rasoul (IRI) struggled to get his balance after a rough clean and jerked 197 for his opener. Alimov Ulugbek (UZB) made a fast hop forward clean then a lean forward in the split jerk with 200. TIAN Tao (CHN) cleaned 205 extremely easily followed by a lean forward squat jerk to about parallel. Taghian Rasoul (IRI) hopped forward with 205; jerking while leaning forward, he had to step under quite a bit to fix it. Alimov Ulugbek (UZB) made another fast hop forward clean; tilting forward in the split, he fixed a solid jerk.

Only one kilo back in the snatch, the hometown hero SA Jaehyouk (KOR) came out for 207. He struggled at the top of the clean then rushed the jerk forward for no lift. He followed himself with the same weight cleaning it easier and seemed to jerk well before, inexplicably, dropping it back.

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Rostami Kianoush (IRI). Charniga photo

Rostami Kianoush (IRI) pulled in 208, pausing in the squat before standing easily; he jerked the weight in a leaning forward split by stepping forward under it awkwardly. Still in the hunt for a medal, Taghian Rasoul (IRI) struggled to hold 210 on his chest as he recovered from the squat; without pausing to gather himself, he jerked hopelessly too far forward. SA Jaehyouk (KOR) decided to go for broke with 210. He made his best clean of the night with this weight; without pausing, he jerked the weight in front for no lift. TIAN Tao (CHN) selected 211 cleaning it very easyily. He was leaning ever so slightly forward as he began to jerk the weight squat style; consequently, the weight drifted too far forward.

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TIAN Tao (CHN). Charniga photo

With SA out and up nine kilos on TIAN, Rostami Kianoush (IRI) could be seen on the monitor joking with his coaches as he came out for 212. A hop forward clean was followed by a forward jerk, but he could not “lean” under the weight. His third with the same weight met the same fate; the barbell was sent just too far forward.

Alimov Ulugbek (UZB) made a hopeless effort for the gold with 216. TIAN Tao (CHN) selected 218 to tie ZHANG Yong’s (CHN) April of 1998 world record jerk. After a little struggle in the clean, he made a big effort to fix the weight at about parallel with enough lean forward to counterbalance the weight standing for an improbable gold medal. Spent by the effort in the immediate aftermath celebration, he had to sit at the top of the ramp before going back to the warm up room.

94 kg

LIU Hao (CHN), Uteshov ALMas (KAZ) and LEE Changho (KOR) were the top three in a relatively weak 94 kg field.

LEE Changho (KOR) opened with 155 for a good lift; he fell backward with 160 then made the correction for nice hop back lift. A heavily muscled LIU Hao (CHN) opened with 165. He made a fast lift without sinking low into the squat. Uteshov Almas (KAZ) made a very easy hop back lift with 170. LIU Hao (CHN) responded with a powerful 171; it was followed by an even better hop back 173. Uteshov Almas (KAZ) came back with a very smooth hop back 175. He attacked 177 with way too much effort.

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Uteshov Almas (KAZ). Charniga photo

LEE Changho (KOR) hopped back with 200 then jerked with a wide split. He made a harder clean but a solid jerk with 207 and then passed his third.

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LIU Hao (CHN). Charniga photo.

LIU Hao (CHN) cleaned 210 with a big hop forward, stopped in the squat and then jerked with a very wide split. Uteshov Almas (KAZ), up two kilos in the snatch, opened with 212; cleaning very easy with almost no foot movement, he jerked with a shallow split. LIU Hao (CHN) cleaned 215 faster, splitting very wide in the jerk. Uteshov Almas (KAZ) cleaned 218 very easily but tried jerking with barely a split which sent the barbell hopelessly forward. Following himself, he managed to jerk the 218 with that forward shifting barbell and shallow split. LIU Hao (CHN) needed 221 to move into first. Hopping forward, LIU almost lost his balance, but he managed to recover from a dead stop in the low squat. Splitting very wide again, he became the second Chinese in a row to win the gold on the last lift.

105 kg

YANG Zhe (CHN), DUSMUROTOV Sardorbek (UZB), NASIRSHELAL Navab (IRI) and KIM Minjae (KOR) were the contenders for the gold in this class. The current world records of this class were in no danger of being eclipsed.

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KIM Minjae (KOR).Charniga photo.

DUSMUROTOV Sardorbek (UZB) was the first out with 160. He raised this weight in one motion with little foot movement. He made 165 the same way except with a small hop backward. He managed to just wedge himself under 170 for his 3rd good lift. NASIRSHELAL Navab (IRI) made a very smooth hop forward opener with 176. KIM Minjae (KOR) hopped forward with extra effort for his 1st at 177. NASIRSHELAL Navab (IRI) moved up to 181 for another hop forward good lift.

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NASIRSHELAL Navab (IRI). Charniga photo

KIM Minjae (KOR) did a high pull and sit back with 182 for no lift. He hopped forward with the repeat at this weight; this time he accentuated the motion of fixing the weight to arms length. NASIRSHELAL Navab (IRI) stopped pulling for some reason mid lift with 184.

Moving about as fast and nimble as a downhill skier in a box of sand, YANG Zhe (CHN) hauled 186 overhead for his 1st. His 2nd and 3rd lifts with 191 were attempts at a slow motion snatch with a slow motion dislocate of the barbell backwards.

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YANG Zhe (CHN). Charniga photo.

KIM Minjae (KOR) barely manage to lock his arms with his opening jerk of 210. At this point Isotomin Sergey (KAZ) made an unrecognizable attempt to jerk 210 followed with two misses at 211. DUSMUROTOV Sardorbek (UZB) made a slow half squat and a shallow split with his 1st at 215. KIM Minjae (KOR) struggled in the clean to get his balance with 215 before muscling the weight overhead in a shallow split. NASIRSHELAL Navab (IRI), cleaning 217 with a hop forward, made a slow jerk with the barbell, but it was too far forward.

YANG Zhe (CHN) cleaned and then jerked 217 in slow steps like someone connecting numbered dots to form a picture. Jumping to 219, NASIRSHELAL Navab (IRI) cleaned it well but jerked it just like his last by letting the weight drift too far forward. On his 3rd with 219 NASIRSHELAL Navab (IRI) cleaned well and seemed to jerk it successfully with the weight back behind his head; again, the weight fell forward. Short and stocky DUSMUROTOV Sardorbek (UZB) is built better for the clean and jerk. His 2nd with 221 was like his first with a slow bending drive, followed by a shallow split for the jerk.
YANG Zhe (CHN) pulled 221 to his chest like the platform was a big magnet holding the barbell down. He could not stand with it. KIM Minjae (KOR) just pulled on 221. DUSMUROTOV Sardorbek (UZB) went to 228 to move up to 2nd. The weight fell on him in the clean; he was spent by the time he went to jerk it.

+105

SALIMIKORDASIABI Behdad (IRI) 170.87 kg, AI Yunan (CHN) 149.88 kg, CHEN Shih Chien (TPE) 147.90 and BERSANOV Ibragim (KAZ) 117.19 rounded out the field of contenders in the +105 kg class.

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BERSANOV Ibragim (KAZ). Charniga photo.

MOULAEI Bahador (IRI) the silver medalist of the 2013 world championships tried to compete with a knee injury. He managed to snatch 170 and 177 before missing 183. He was clearly favoring his right knee. He decided not to risk any further damage and passed on the clean and jerk.

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MOULAEI Bahador (IRI). Charniga photo

The world records at the beginning of this class were 214 + 263 = 472.

CHEN Shih Chien (TPE) snatched 180 in one fast motion. BERSANOV Ibragim (KAZ), the lightest by 30 – 50 kg to the bigger guys, made a very fast 187 opener. CHEN Shih Chien (TPE) dropped very low, very fast for a man weighing 147 kg with his 2nd at 187. AI Yunan (CHN) made 190 with some pause in the bottom to get his balance. At 149 kg he has more body fat than CHEN and was not nearly as fast. CHEN Shih Chien (TPE) made another very fast, low squat lift with 191 to go three for three. Taking a long time over the bar, BERSANOV Ibragim (KAZ) accelerated 192 slowly, finishing quickly for another good lift.

AI Yunan (CHN) tried to do a high pull and muscle 195 overhead without success. AL the mainlander is an interesting contrast to CHEN from the Island of Taiwan. AL is slow and very strong; whereas CHEN, at the same bodyweight, is fast and more athletic. AL’s 3rd with 195 was closer but still poorly coordinated. Preparing a long time over the bar, BERSANOV Ibragim (KAZ), bounced multiple times before lift off with 197 to no avail; it was not even close.

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CHEN Shih Chien (TPE). Charniga photo.

SALIMIKORDASIABI Behdad (IRI) hopped forward about 9 cm as he exploded 200 overhead on his 1st. He hopped forward even further on his next lift with 210 with an amazing display of power. Way ahead and lifting alone without pressure, SALIMIKORDASIABI Behdad (IRI) went to 215 to break his own world record of 214 set in Paris in 2011. This should have been another good lift despite the big hop forward, but his 170 kg bulk does not permit him to drop low enough and quickly enough to effectively fix the barbell.

BERSANOV Ibragim (KAZ) hopped back with 218, splitting wide and fast for a good 1st attempt. Jumping 7 kg to 225, Bersanov hopped back almost losing the weight off his chest. He compensated for the hard clean by jerking with a wide, fast scissoring. CHEN Shih Chien (TPE) banged 230 off his thighs in cleaning the weight awkwardly, but he managed a good jerk with a fast scissoring. BERSANOV Ibragim (KAZ) hopped back and once again the 230 barbell almost rolled off his chest; he rearranged it before standing, making a fast, efficient jerk despite the struggle to clean it.

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SALIMIKORDASIABI Behdad (IRI). Charniga photos

AI Yunan (CHN) pulled in 233 to his chest, almost losing his balance backwards; then, he made a fast, powerful jerk. CHEN Shih Chien (TPE) cleaned his 3rd with 233 faster than his 2nd stepping well under it in the jerk for a good lift. AI Yunan (CHN) did a pull, a sit and a front squat with 240 followed by a fast jerk. SALIMIKORDASIABI Behdad (IRI) selected 241 to move into first for the clean and jerk and sew up the total gold medal. Hopping forward to pull the weight in, he was leaning forward during the recovery such that he had to take a couple of steps before jerking the weight forward; then, he did a few more steps before he was allowed to put the weight down.

AI Yunan (CHN) pulled 245 so strongly it almost knocked him backwards in the clean. He struggled to stand so he had not enough left to jerk it. SALIMIKORDASIABI Behdad (IRI) made an easier and better controlled clean with 255 taking only a step forward to jerk it for an excellent 465 total. He passed his third.

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