We’re three days into the 2016 Olympics, and Rio has already witnessed one of the best feel-good weightlifting stories in recent memory. At 33 years old and lifting in his 4th Olympic Games, Colombia’s Oscar Mosquera has won his first gold medal. He’s the 2012 silver medalist from the London Games.
Shortly after his final attempt, Mosquera removed his shoes on the platform and fell to his knees, overcome with emotion. The gesture signaled his official retirement from competitive weightlifting.
The final podium for the men’s 62kg category is as follows.
1. Oscar Albeiro Figueroa Mosquera (Colombia)
2. Eko Yuli Irawan (Indonesia)
3. Farkhad Kharki (Kazakhstan)
Chen Lijun — the Chinese lifter favored by many to win, including one BarBend correspondent — bombed out in the snatch after two missed attempts and what appeared to be severe leg cramps. He withdrew before taking his third snatch attempt. Lijun was attempting 143 kilograms to open the snatch portion, 1 kg above Mosquera’s highest successful attempt. Lijun’s withdrawal left the door open for Mosquera, who capitalized with two successful clean & jerks to take the title by 6kg.
Indonesia’s Eko Irawan took second. He won bronze in the 2008 Beijing Games in the 56kg class as well as bronze in London lifting at 62kg.
Kazakhstan’s Farkhad Kharki took third, and Japan’s Yoichi Itokazu came in 4th place.
It was an exciting session with several surprises — including Lijun’s withdrawal — but it will most likely be remembered as the competition that sent fan favorite Mosquera out on top.
Featured image: @IWFnet on Instagram