Weightlifter Ali Rubaiawi (+109, IRQ) Hits 198-Kilogram Junior World Record Snatch at 2023 World Weightlifting Championships

This was the final record set at the 2023 World Weightlifting Championships.

As the International Weightlifting Federation’s (IWF) 2023 World Weightlifting Championships (WWC) wound down, fans were still hoping to see at least one new world record. Most would expect it to come from none other than Georgia’s Lasha Talakhadze, but in fact, the final record of the 2023 WWC went to Iraq’s Ali Rubaiawi.

Rubaiawi, 19, snatched a new Junior world record of 198 kilograms (or 436.5 pounds) during the Group B session of the Men’s +109-kilogram division in Riyadh, where this year’s Worlds was held from Sep. 4 to 17. 

[Related: Hampton Morris Wins First Gold Medal for USA in Over 50 Years]

Rabaiawi placed seventh overall in the +109s by way of his new Junior record combined with 221 kilograms in the clean & jerk for a 419-kilogram Total. According to the IWF’s official athlete database, Rabaiawi has only appeared at one other international event, the 2022 Asian Championships, where he failed to register a Total.

The previous Junior snatch record of 197 kilograms was held by Ali Davoudi of Iran. Davoudi set that record back in 2018 at that year’s WWC. In Riyadh, he placed fourth overall.

2023 World Weightlifting Championships | Men’s +109-Kilogram

The final session of the 2023 WWC was among the most widely-anticipated sessions of the entire competition. All eyes were on Georgia’s Talakhadze and whether he would win yet another World Championships. Talakhadze ultimately Totaled 473 kilograms to win his seventh Worlds. Here’s how the overall podium looked at the conclusion of the competition:

  1. Lasha Talakhadze (GEO): 473KG (220/253)
  2. Varazdat Lalayan (ARM): 460KG (212/248)
  3. Gor Minasyan (BRN): 459KG (213/246)

[Related: The Best Weightlifting Belts on the Market in 2023]

Talakhadze’s seventh sequential win didn’t come as easily as some of his previous, though. He faced stiff competition from both silver medalist Lalayan and bronze finisher Minasyan, as well as two-time World Champion in the 109-kilogram category Simon Martirosyan. 

At only 19, Rabaiawi’s 198-kilogram snatch still places him far outside of medal contention. However, it is within 10 kilograms of where the three snatch medalists (Talakhadze, Lalayan, and Minasyan) opened up. Talakhadze is the strongest competition snatcher in weightlifting history, with a stage best of 225. But, based on his performance in Riyadh, Rabaiawi is rapidly coming within striking distance of silver or bronze in the snatch.

More Weightlifting Content

Featured Image: Weightlifting House / @weightlifting_house