Houston: Russian weightlifter Aleksei Lovchev took the title of “the strongest man in the world” with a breathtaking victory in the men’s 105 kg-plus division at the World Championships.
There was more glory for Russia on Saturday when Tatiana Kashirina won the women’s 75 kg-plus world title for the third year in a row, said a media report.
Lovchev went up 16 kg from his second lift to his last in the clean and jerk when he was assured of a clean sweep of gold medals.
He had never lifted more than 257 kg in training and he had to lift 264 kg to beat Iranian Hossein Rezazadeh’s clean and jerk and total world records, which had stood for 11 and 15 years, respectively.
“This shows that Russia is the strongest nation. I could never have done it without the support of my parents. My father is my coach and he introduced me to weightlifting. My mother passed away in 2012 and I dedicate this victory and the records to her,” said the 26-year-old Lovchev.
When I was little I used to watch Rezazadeh on television, lifting enormous weights. He was an example to me and I never imagined I would one day take his records, he added.
In the snatch, Lovchev hoisted 211kg ahead of Lasha Talakhadze (Georgia) on 207 kg and Gor Minasyan (Armenia) on 203 kg. Talakhadze ranked third in the clean and jerk and second overall with 454kg.
Mart Seim of Estonia finished second in the clean and jerk on 248 kg and third overall with 438 kg.
In the final event of the championships, in the women’s 75 kg-plus, Kashirina started when everybody else had just about finished in the snatch. There was one lift remaining, for China’s Meng Suping, when Kashirina came in at 143kg. She finished on 148, clear of Meng and Thailand’s Chitchanok Pulsabsakul.
Kashirina weighed in at 108 kg, up 2 kg on her weight in Almaty last year, where she finished 28 kg clear of Meng.
This time it was closer as Kashirina made only one of her clean and jerk attempts — at 185kg eight short of her own record but it was enough for a clean sweep of golds. Her 333kg total left her 8kg clear of Meng again. South Korea’s Kim Kuk Hyang, fifth in the snatch, was a long way back in third place, on 296kg.