After an inconsistent start for several presumed favorites, Chinese weightlifting’s athletes had a victorious day in Rio, securing their second gold of the day. Just hours after Deng Wei’s victory in the women’s 63kg weight class, Shi Zhiyong (men’s 69kg) made 5 of 6 lifts to secure first place by a single kilogram.

The final men’s 69kg podium is as follows:

1. Shi Zhiyong (China)
2. Daniyar Ismayilov (Turkey)
3. Izzat Artykov (Kyrgyzstan)

Luis Javier Mosquera Lozano (Colombia), one of North America’s top lifters renowned for his speed and precision, missed his final two clean & jerks and came in fourth, one kilogram behind Artykov.

Ismayilov had the lead coming out of the snatch, successfully lifting 163kg after Zhiyong took his final (successful) attempt at 162. Ismayilov’s save at 163 left spectators’ jaws on the floor as he took a step backwards in the bottom of the overhead squat then turned nearly 90 degrees while standing up with the weight. He finally secured the load before getting the down signal after an epic battle.

Ismayilov then made all three clean & jerks (the final at 188kg) to end the day 6 for 6. 

But Zhiyong would not be denied, making a successful lift at 190kg — with his trademark squat jerk in full effect — to edge out the Turkish athlete by 1kg. Zhiyong then took and failed an attempt at 198kg (missing on the jerk), which would have tied the world record set by fellow Chinese lifter Liao Hui, recently retired from the sport.

Featured image from @IWFnet on Instagram.

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