The second weight category to compete at the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games was the Men’s 61-kilogram weight class. Groups B competed on Saturday, July 24, 2021, at 10:50 p.m. EST. Group A competed on Sunday, July 25, 2021, at 2:50 a.m. EST.
Men’s 61-Kilogram Results
- Li Fabin (China) — 313 (141/172) — Gold Medal
- Eko Yuli Irawan (Indonesia) — 302 (137/165) — Silver Medal
- Igor Son (Kazahkstan) — 294 (131/163)
- Yoichi Itokazu (Japan) — 292 (133/159)
- Seraj Abdulrahim Alsaleem (Saudi Arabia) — 288 (129/159)
- Davide Ruiu (Italy) — 286 (127/159)
- Shota Mishvelidze (Georgia) — 285 (130/155)
- Luis Alberto Garcia Brito (Domincan Republic) — 274 (120/154)
- Simon Josef Brandhuber (Germany) — 268 (123/145)
- Morea Baru (Papua New Guinea) — 265 (123/145)
- Eric Herman Andriantsitohaina (Madagascar) — 264 (114/150)
- Marcos Antonio Rojas Concha (Peru) — 240 (105/135)
- Kim Tuan Thach (Vietnam) — Did Not Finish
- Chan-Hung Kao (Chinese Taipei) — Withdrew
Note: the above stats are structured as — Total (Snatch/Clean & Jerk)
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2020 Tokyo Olympic Games — Men’s 61KG
Here are the fourteen athletes in the Men’s 61-kilogram category who competed in Tokyo:
- Li Fabini — China
- Shota Mishvelidze — Georgia
- Eko Yuli Irawan — Indonesia
- Davide Ruiu — Italy
- Yoichi Itokazu — Japan
- Igor Son — Kazahkstan
- Seraj Abdulrahim Alsaleem — Saudi Arabia
- Chan-Hung Kao — Chinese Taipei
- Kim Tuan Thach — Vietnam
- Simon Josef Brandhuber — Germany
- Luis Alberto Garcia Brito — Domincan Republic
- Eric Herman Andriantsitohaina — Madagascar
- Morea Baru — Papua New Guinea
- Marcos Antonio Rojas Concha — Peru
Irawan is the lone returning medalist from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, earning the silver in the 62-kilogram class (new weightlifting categories were approved by the IWF in 2018). Heading into the Games, the snatch and total world records in this category were held by Li. He scored both at the 2019 IWF World Championships. The world record clean & jerk was scored by Irawan at the 2018 IWF World Championships.
61-Kilogram World Record Standards
- Snatch — Li Fabin, 145 kilograms (319.7 pounds)
- Clean & Jerk — Eko Yuli Irawan, 174 kilograms (383.6 pounds)
- Total — Li Fabin, 318 kilograms (701.1 pounds)
Garcia Brito led the pack with a 274-kilogram total — six kilograms ahead of Brandhuber — after Group B. Italy’s Ruiu kicked things off for Group A with a successful 123-kilogram snatch. Alsaleem followed with a 124-kilogram snatch — a single kilogram less than his personal best. He hit a PR 127-kilogram best on his second attempt and then beat that with a 129-kilogram third attempt.
2017 World Champion Thach was the first man in Group A to miss a first attempt. He rested for two minutes and attempted the same 126 kilograms and was successful. Chan-Hung missed a 128-kilogram second attempt that was challenged but upheld. Mishvelidze and Itokazu both opened at 130-kilograms, but only Mishvelidze was successful. Itokazu was successful on his second attempt.
Irawan and Li made their first attempts after the rest of the group completed all three of their attempts. They both opened with 137 kilograms, but only Irawan was successful. Li hit it on his second attempt. Irawan missed 141 kilograms on his second attempt, but Li hit that weight on his third attempt.
Clean & Jerk
Kao was first to the stage in the clean & jerk with a 141-kilogram attempt. He seemingly couldn’t catch a break as the judges ruled a no lift again. He missed his second attempt and then withdrew without making a third attempt.
Thach was next to the platform and missed his first two attempts of 150 kilograms. Ruiu was the first man in Group A to score a clean & jerk with his 153-kilogram opening. The 22-year-old Son hit a two-kilogram PR with his 156-kilogram opening. He missed 162 kilograms on his second attempt but hit 163 kilograms on his third attempt.
Irawan guaranteed himself a medal with a successful 165-kilogram opening. Li hit a 166-kilogram opening after tipping onto one leg for a few seconds to regain his balance on the jerk. Alsaleem narrowly missed his 166-kilogram second and third attempts to fall out of medal contention.
Irawan and Li knew going into their second attempts that they would walk away from the Games with at least a silver medal. Li stepped to the stage to set an Olympic record with a 172-kilogram lift. Irawan called for 177 kilograms on his second and third attempts to make up the deficit — three more than his world record entering the event — but missed both.
Li knew he was the gold medalist before his third attempt but called for a world record 178 kilograms on the bar. The attempt was unsuccessful, but he stood atop the podium nonetheless.
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The Games Continue
The next two sessions will feature the Men’s 67-kilogram and Women’s 55-kilogram categories. Group B for the Men’s 67-kilogram class competed on Saturday, July 24, 2021, at 10:50 p.m. EST. Group A for the Men’s 67-kilogram class will compete on Sunday, July 25, 2021, at 6:50 a.m. EST. Groups B and A for the Women’s 55-kilogram class will compete on Monday, July 26, 2021, at 12:50 a.m. EST and 6:50 a.m. EST, respectively.
Feature image: Frame Art/Shutterstock