(Sydney) It came down to the last clean and jerk, as Hossein Tavakoli (IRI) won the hotly contested 105-kg category in weightlifting at the Sydney Olympics today with a 425-kg total.
The 105s had everyone's attention from the start, as the ad hoc division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) decided to permit Bulgarian weightlifter Alan Tsagaev to participate, and the lifting proved to be very competitive. Igor Razoranev (UKR) led after the snatches, with 192.5 kg, and five other lifters were on his heels with 190.
Of the medallists, Said Assad (QAT) opened first in the clean and jerk, at 225, for a good lift. Tavakoli and Tsagaev both made good lifts with 230 on their first attempts, a weight that pre-contest favorite Denis Gottfried (UKR) missed three times. Assad made 230 on his second, and Tsagaev took over the lead with a good 235 on his second attempt. Asaad, in an effort to move into first place, took 235 on his third attempt, but missed the lift. Tsagaev waited as Tavakoli, who had also taken a shot at the gold by calling for 235 on his second attempt, but missed the lift, repeated with 235 on this third, for a good lift and the lead. Taking the last lift in the class, Tsagaev called for the 237.5 that would give him the gold medal, cleaned the weight strongly, but missed the jerk, leaving him with a 422.5-kg total and the silver medal. Assad totalled 420 kg, for the bronze medal.